September 3, 2014 3:18 pm

Construction apprentices get tuition help from Merit Contractors

Merit Contractors will refund new Saskatchewan construction apprentices up to $2,500 over four years for tuition.

File / Global News

PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. – Over 300 new construction apprentices in Saskatchewan are about to get some help with their tuition.

Merit Contractors announced Wednesday it will help with their education by providing up to $2,500 over four years in tuition reimbursement.

“Our Education Bursary Program is one more incentive for any young, hard-working man or woman to join one of our member companies,“ said Karen Low, executive director of Merit Saskatchewan.

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Low said tuition can cost upwards of $780 per year and stated an apprentice who completes a typical four-year apprenticeship will save over $2,500 through the bursary.

“In a time of acute skilled labour shortages, Merit Saskatchewan is serious about doing our part to attract new employees to the industry,” said Low.

In July, 58,000 people in Saskatchewan were working in construction, up 23,000 from 2007.

Low said demand continues to grow.

“The current and future demand for skilled trades in the Saskatchewan construction sector is enormous.”

Along with those demands come higher wages.

A survey last September by Merit found first-year apprentices were earning 21 per cent more than in 2010 with the average experienced journeyman making $33.19 an hour.

It also found 57 per cent of the 200 companies surveyed at the time expected the amount of work to increase over the next year.

Saskjobs.ca had 4,581 jobs postings under “Trade, Transportation, Construction” on Wednesday.

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