B.C. boosts skill development program

Tax credits beginning at $1,000 per year for apprentices and $2,000 for their employers came into effect Jan. 1 under a new provincial government skill development program.

The B.C. training tax credit program expands a similar federal skill development program offered for 47 "Red Seal" apprenticeships that meet national standards for trades such as carpentry, electrical and plumbing. Tax credits will now also be offered for 79 provincially recognized training programs, including building envelope technician, oil and gas rig technician and landscape horticulturalist.

After the basic credits, employers and employees can go on to collect further credits of $2,000 or more for completion of various levels in apprenticeship programs.

Credits are 50 per cent higher if the apprentice holds a Status Indian card or is eligible for a disability credit on income tax.

B.C.'s program is budgeted to cost $29 million a year, and requires legislative approval to take effect.

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