Partnership helps build careers in trades and technology

Published on April 15, 2024

Anthem Properties is helping to address a shortage of skilled tradespeople by committing $500,000 over 10 years to support trades and construction bursaries at NAIT.  

Forecasts from Canadian Apprenticeship Forum indicate the need for an additional 60,000 registered apprentices country-wide by 2025.

Anthem’s support for bursaries aims to attract youth and those looking to upskill to pursue an apprenticeship or trades-related diploma. 

“Partnering with NAIT to support the next generation is a strategic investment as these students will play a critical role in the development and sustainability of our society in the future,” says Dylan Hunchak, vice president, Land Development at Anthem. “We hope that this investment provides hope to individuals who for one reason or another believe a formal education is out of reach and this is a catalyst to an amazing career.” 

In October 2022, Jay Westman, chair and CEO of Jayman Built, challenged industry leaders to support the BILD Alberta Scholarships for Construction Careers initiative. Anthem answered the call. 

Anthem’s donation helps students and apprentices enrolled in one of the 18 construction and trade programs the bursary supports. 

About the Anthem Properties bursaries

Anthem’s bursaries, valued at $1,250 and $2,500, are awarded based on financial need and satisfactory academic achievement. 

  • Trades programs: Advanced Plumbing Technology, Electrical, Cabinetmaker, Carpenter, Electrician, Glazier, Insulator, Plumber, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic, Millwork and Carpentry, Roofer  

  • Construction programs: Architectural Technology, Civil Engineering Technology, Construction Engineering Technology, Engineering Design Technology, Interior Design Technology, Landscape Architectural Technology  

Learn more about NAIT Student Awards

Since September 2023, $35,000 in bursaries have been awarded to 17 NAIT students. These bursaries are critical investments to encourage people to seek their apprenticeship, says Matt Lindberg, dean of NAIT’s School of Skilled Trades

“Anthem's partnership recognizes some of the barriers for apprentices in dire need of financial support,” Lindberg adds. “I'm excited about the future of apprenticeship because of the support we’re seeing from industry leaders like Anthem to elevate and proclaim the value skilled trades workers bring to Alberta, and more broadly to Canada.” 

Bursaries help alleviate apprentice’s financial concerns

For those looking to pursue an apprenticeship or diploma, factors such as taking time away from their job can be a deterrent. Anthem’s bursary encourages students who may be anxious about being without a full-time income for the duration of their program.  

First-year carpenter apprentice Geoff Foxton-Garner attests that going back to post-secondary as a mature student can be daunting, especially for those with families.  

“I’ve always wanted to get into the trades, but it was never the right time,” says the 42-year-old father of 3, who moved to St. Albert a few years ago looking to advance his career.  

A former warehouse worker, Foxton-Garner admits he was excited, but nervous to attend NAIT in January, 2024 after a 20-year-long hiatus from school. Although he had moral support from both his wife and employer, he worried about finances as the sole provider for his family. Applying for scholarships and bursaries was among his first priorities that first week of school. 

When he received notice at the end of the semester that he was selected for one of Anthem Properties’ apprenticeship bursaries, Foxton-Garner says he was ecstatic. “I immediately told my wife that I received a bursary. It felt like a reward, like all my hard work paid off.” 

A photo of the recipients of the Anthem Properties scholarships in the Feltham Centre Thanks to Anthem’s support, since September 2023, $35,000 in bursaries have been awarded to 17 NAIT students.

Foxton-Garner encourages others considering an apprenticeship to take the opportunity. “I’ve been there. It’s definitely worth it to take the leap,” he says.  

“There was always something stopping me from doing what I wanted to do in my career. But now, I’m in a better position to support my family.” 

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