Collision Apprentices Eligible for Canadian Loan Program

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Collision repair apprentices are now eligible for the Canada Apprentice Loan program (Photo credit: Huw Evans)

Starting this month, auto body painter apprentices as well as those in bodywork and collision repair, are now eligible for interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per each period of technical training at their local community college.

The loans are designed to help apprentices pay for tuition fees, as well as tools, equipment and living expenses in lieu of wages or to help provide financial support to their families. Under the new Canada Apprentice Loan program, the apprentices themselves will not have to make payments, nor will interest accrue until they have completed or have left their apprentice training program.

The new loan will be offered to apprentices in all provinces and territories in Canada with the exception of Quebec and is available for up to five periods of technical training. Furthermore, the interest free period can last for up to six years as long as an apprentice is confirmed as being registered in the Auto Body and Collision Damage Repair technician apprenticeship program.

Additionally, apprentices do not have to make any loan payments while their loan is within the interest-free period.

In order to qualify, apprentices must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or protected person;
  • Be registered in a Red Seal trade (Auto Body and Collision Damage Repair is one of those categories recognized as a Red Seal trade);
  • Be enrolled in a block-release training program;
  • Pass a credit check (necessary for first time applicants).

According to John Norris of the Collision Industry Information Assistance (CIIA) industry association  “Failure to obtain adequate income support has long been identified as one reason for low student attendance in training.  This new program should remove one more barrier to apprentice training and encourage more prospective collision repair technicians to attend training and better work towards being a fully trades-licensed trained technican.”

To find out more, visit: www.esdc.gc.ca/en/support_apprentices/loans.page

For additional information regarding apprentice support in the collision industry visit: www.ciia.com/provinces/ontario/training.html

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