Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to download a PDF version of the FAQ list below.

Eligibility

What does "Unemployed in the Trade" mean?

  • “Unemployed in the Trade” means you are not progressing in your apprenticeship program because you do not have an employer holding your Contract of Apprenticeship.
  • It does not necessarily mean that you, as an apprentice, are collecting Employment Insurance (EI).
  • Example:  A welder apprentice is no longer working as an apprentice at a welding shop but has secured a job working at a warehouse. In this situation, the apprentice is considered “Unemployed in the Trade” because the warehouse (his employer) does not hold his Contract of Apprenticeship.
  • If you are an apprentice registered with the Boilermakers or Ironworkers Apprenticeship Administration Agencies, “Unemployed in the Trade” is defined as being on the out-of-work list.

Do I have to be collecting Employment Insurance (EI) to be eligible for the Apprentice Training Award?

  • No. Eligibility is based on being “Unemployed in the Trade”, which means you do not have an employer holding your Contract of Apprenticeship and are not earning hours towards your apprenticeship program. You can be employed in another line of work and therefore not collecting EI. 

Do I have to submit a “Release Card” to receive the Apprentice Training Award?

  • Most apprentices are required to submit a Notice of Release of Contract of Apprenticeship card (Release Card)  to be eligible for the Apprentice Training Award. This indicates that you do not have an employer holding your Contract of Apprenticeship.
  • NOTE: This requirement does not apply to apprentices registered to the Boilermakers or Ironworkers  Apprenticeship Administration Agencies. Unemployment will be confirmed by the apprentice’s agency. 

Is technical training provided at a union facility eligible for the Apprentice Training Award?

  • Yes. Some union training facilities are approved to provide apprenticeship technical training. 

I have been unemployed in my trade for less than 30 days. Am I still eligible?

  • No. You must be unemployed in your trade for at least 30 consecutive days immediately prior to the first day of technical training. There are no exceptions.

How do I calculate 30 consecutive days of unemployment?

  • Consecutive days are counted as calendar days.  This includes weekends and holidays.

I want to take back-to-back technical training. How is “Unemployed in the Trade” for 30 consecutive days determined?

  • You must be “Unemployed in the Trade” for at least 30 consecutive days immediately prior to the first day of any technical training class, regardless if it is taken back-to-back or not.
  • ”Unemployed in the Trade” means the apprentice does not have an employer holding their Contract of Apprenticeship.
  • For apprentices registered with the Boilermaker or Ironworker Apprenticeship Administration Agencies, “Unemployed in the Trade” is defined as being on the out-of-work list.

My apprenticeship has been cancelled but I want to attend technical training. What do I do?

  • You may be able to register without an employer for the purpose of attending technical training, please contact AIT to discuss this option.
  • To be considered for the Apprentice Training Award, you must be a registered apprentice for at least 30 consecutive days immediately prior to the start of technical training. You must also meet all eligibility criteria.

Are all hairstyling apprentice programs eligible for the Apprentice Training Award?

  • No. Only hairstyling apprentices studying at the Delmar College of Hair & Esthetics or M.C. College are eligible for the award‎.

Process

How do I apply?

  • AIT will send notification to your MyTradesecrets account - if you may be eligible. 
  • Review the notice and follow the instructions.
  • Once your eligibility has been verified, Alberta Student Aid will mail a cheque to the address listed in your My Tradesecrets account. 

 

I attended a period of technical training and am currently attending the next period. Can I apply for two awards?

  • Yes. The ability to apply will appear twice in your MyTradesecrets account - once for each period of technical training. For more detail see “How do I apply for the award?” 

Can I receive the award more than once?

  • Eligible apprentices can receive the Apprentice Training Award once per training period, to a maximum of three times during your lifetime.

What if I don’t have a MyTradesecrets account?

  • Youneed to go to Tradesecrets homepage and follow the instructions to create an account.
  • To set up an account, you need your Apprenticeship and Industry Training Identification Number.
  • If you do not know your AIT Identification Number, contact AIT

What if I made an error in submitting the requested information in MyTradesecrets?

What if I made an error in submitting my Social Insurance Number (SIN) in MyTradesecrets?

How do I change my consent for being considered for awards and scholarships?

  • Apprentices have the ability to update their consent preferences in their MyTradesecrets account under the Applications tab.

Is the award given automatically if my personal information is already on file?

  • No. To receive the award, you must provide the specific information required when you are prompted to do so in your MyTradesecrets account.

Can I request a review of the decision if my application has been refused?

  • If you feel you have extenuating circumstances that may impact the decision, send a detailed email summarizing the situation to the AT Award email for review to AT.Award@gov.ab.ca.

Timing

When is the award available?

  • The Apprentice Training Award was available starting January 18, 2017 and will apply to technical training taken on or after August 1, 2016.

How long do I have to apply?

  • You have up to five (5) days after the end of your technical training class to provide your consent, Social Insurance Number and make a legal declaration.

When will eligible apprentices get paid after they submit their information?

  • After the apprentice submits all of the required information, a cheque should arrive in the mail within 30 days.

Receiving Your Award

Can the Apprentice Training Award be direct deposited?

  • No, Alberta Student Aid will mail the cheque to the address provided in your MyTradesecrets account.

What if I have provided all of the requested information in MyTradesecrets and then decide that I no longer want to apply for the Apprentice Training Award?

  • If you want to cancel your application, contact AIT at 1-800-248-4823 and press ‘4’ or send an email to AT.Award@gov.ab.ca 
  • If you have already received the award cheque and do not want to accept the award, you may mail the cheque back to Alberta Student Aid. (Click the link for the mailing address)

What if I do not want to supply the requested information?

  • Applying for the Apprentice Training Award is optional. If you do not provide the requested information, you will not receive the award. The award does not affect your status as an apprentice if you choose to not apply.

What if I choose not to supply the requested information and then change my mind and want to apply?

  • If you have not yet applied, the ability to apply exists in your MyTradesecrets account from your first day of class until June 30, 2017. 

What should I do if there is nothing showing in my MyTradesecrets account to permit me to apply and I think I may be eligible?

  • A detailed email summarizing the situation can be sent to AT.Award@gov.ab.ca for review.

I have not received my cheque in the mail. What should I do?

General

Will this money affect my Employment Insurance (EI) benefits?

  • Funds received from the Apprentice Training Award are not considered earnings for EI purposes so will not impact an apprentice’s EI claim.  Apprentices can contact Service Canada to obtain further details and discuss an individual circumstance or claim. 

Is the AT Award taxable?

  • The Apprentice Training Award is provided as an incentive for apprentices who are “Unemployed in the Trade” to attend technical training and to continue to progress in their apprenticeship.  The award is tax exempt.  A tax slip will be issued by Alberta Advanced Education.

I want to provide consent for future awards and scholarships. How do I do this?

  • You can give your consent for future awards and scholarships in the Applications tab in your MyTradesecrets account. If you only have one application, you will see a Consent Statement box on your Applications tab. Click the blue Update button. If you consent, you will be asked to provide your Social Insurance Number.
  • If you have more than one application, click the Details button beside your apprenticeship application. You will then see a Consent Statement box. Click the blue Update button. If you consent, you will be asked to provide your Social Insurance Number.

What if I need this money up-front in order to register for school?

  • You are required to pay for the cost of technical training when you register. The Apprentice Training Award is paid to eligible apprentices after the technical training class has begun. The money you receive should be used to reimburse yourself for tuition, books and living expenses that you had while you were attending technical training. 

What happens if I submit a false claim?

This award is designated to help apprentices who have been “Unemployed in the Trade” for at least 30 consecutive days immediately prior to the start of technical training.

Providing false, misleading or inaccurate information could require you to repay the award. You will not be eligible for all future awards or scholarships administered by Apprenticeship and Industry Training until such amount is repaid.

Where can I find more information on the Apprentice Training Award?