The Honourable Minister Hajdu Announces 4.8 M Federal Funding for CCAA in Support of Work-Integrated-Learning in High-Demand STEM Occupations in Aviation & Aerospace

Ottawa, Canada – August 30, 2017: The Canadian Council for Aviation & Aerospace, CCAA, is proud to announce that Employment Social Development Canada, ESDC, has approved a 4-year multi-stakeholder project to put aviation and aerospace post-secondary students into work-integrated learning (WIL) placements. The primary focus of the project is to significantly increase the number of work-integrated-learning opportunities - up to 1000 students in our industry across Canada.

Giving post-secondary students the chance to learn in a hands-on work environment is part of the Government’s plan to put Canada’s greatest strength – its skilled, hard-working people - at the heart of a more innovative new economy. The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced yesterday that the Government of Canada will help create a total of 60,000 new student work placements over the next five years.

The Government of Canada is rolling out a $73-million investment in the Student Work Integrated Learning Program to create 10,000 paid student work placements, facilitating stronger partnerships between employers and polytechnics, universities, and colleges.

Minister Hajdu made the announcement at the Air Canada Maintenance Facility at the Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport, during an event hosted by the Canadian Council for Aviation & Aerospace, one of several industry partners working with the Government of Canada. The Council, a national partnership organization, that helps to ensure the aviation and aerospace industry has sufficient skilled workers to meet current needs and projected growth, will receive $4.8 million. It is expected that more than 1,000 student work placements will be created for post-secondary students through this partnership.

Acquiring training and experience simultaneously is a best practice in high-skills STEM fields; increasing the value and relevance of training by providing hands-on experience using actual equipment, the correct tools, in the real workplace. These work-integrated learning placements will also allow for industry and participating post-secondary education (PSE) institutions to modernize how aircraft technicians in key occupations are trained.

CCAA is proud to be part of Canada’s first major work-integrated learning consortium for aviation and aerospace-specific placements. CCAA, industry and educators (see list of partners below) are developing a new curriculum to train “Multi-disciplinary Technicians” or MDT’s – by combining training for Avionics, Maintenance and Interiors. Over the next 4 years, the MDT project will provide wage subsidies of up to  $5,000 or $7,000 per student, per work term, for one of the following types of work-integrated learning experiences: co-op placements, internships, field placements, or applied projects to solve particular problems for employers. The placements are not restricted to maintenance occupations.

CCAA will now administer wage subsidies to employers in the industry who are hiring co-op students, interns, etc. The program runs for 4 years, so employers can make longer term plans for future hiring. Technology and processes evolve rapidly in aviation and aerospace, and are subject to intense scrutiny from regulatory authorities and the public. In this environment, the WIL project provides opportunities for students to secure meaningful work-integrated learning, and supports employers with funding to help offset the cost of training new employees.


The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour,"When Canadian students get on-the-job education, they're getting the experience they need to succeed. Our Innovation and Skills Plan is putting Canada's skilled, talented and creative people at the heart of a more innovative future economy."

Richard Steer, Senior Vice President, Operations at Air Canada stated, “As Canada’s largest employer in the aviation sector, Air Canada supports initiatives such as this to help develop Canada’s workforce and expertise in aircraft maintenance. Together with our industry partners, we look forward to working with the Canadian Council for Aviation and Aerospace to provide students across Canada access to hands-on learning opportunities and access to state-of-the-art technology.”

Theresa Davis-Woodhouse, CCAA’s Director of Project Management, remarked, “Work-Integrated Learning allows students to practice the skills they have learned and to get valuable hands-on work experience. However, it also allows them to develop an awareness of work-place culture and valuable business soft-skills.”

Robert Donald, CCAA’s Executive Director said, “CCAA would like to thank the dedicated team at Employment, Social Development Canada who have assisted in the development of this important initiative, and those companies and associations who have given us their confidence as partners in executing this project.”

To participate as an industry partner, a post-secondary educational institution, or co-op student, or for more information on SWILP or the CCAA Multidisciplinary Technician Project, contact Theresa Davis-Woodhouse, Director of Project Management @ 613 727 8272 extension 247, or

Partners (to date) Post-secondary educational institutions: Fanshawe, Canadore, Centennial, BCIT, SAIT, ENA, University of British Columbia and Carleton University.

Partners (to date) Aviation & Aerospace Companies: Air Canada, Air Georgian, Avianor, Hope Aero Propeller and Components, Jazz Aviation, KF Aerospace, Les Services Airbase Inc., M1 Composites Technologies Inc., Premier Aviation, and KF Aerospace.

About CCAA The Canadian Council for Aviation & Aerospace (CCAA) is dedicated to ensuring the Canadian aviation and aerospace industry has enough workers with the right skills to meet industry needs. CCAA has two main areas of focus: skills development and industry demographics (supply and demand for skills). For more information about Aviation & Aerospace workforce development programs and training, please contact CCAA at 1-613-727-8272 or 1-800-488-9715;; Linked In; Twitter; CCAA News

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