Trades and Occupation Wage Subsidy Program

The Trades and Occupation Wage Subsidy Program (TOWSP) provides financial support to employers to hire and train skilled apprentices and occupation trainees who are registered with the Apprenticeship, Trade and Occupation Certification (ATOC) program and are residents of the NWT.  

TOWSP supports work experience and training to enable apprentices to progress through an apprenticeship or training program and earn a Certificate of Qualification in a designated trade or a Certificate of Competence in a designated occupation.

The objectives of TOWSP are:

  • Provide opportunities for Northwest Territories (NWT) resident apprentices and occupation trainees to gain work experience and increase workplace essential skills;
  • Encourage employers to hire new apprentices and occupation trainees by offsetting the costs of hiring and training;
  • Encourage employers to hire women in non-traditional trades;
  • Encourage high quality training and certification standards in the apprenticeship and industry training system where supply meets demand; and 
  • Enhance the Schools North Apprenticeship Program participation to further support high school students interested in gaining experience towards a career in the trades. 

Available Funding

Each apprentice’s employer can be subsidized up to 3200 hours of work experience.  In a fiscal year, the maximum number of hours eligible to be subsidized is 1600 hours. The maximum allowable funding available to employers under the TOWSP cannot currently exceed $8.00 per hour. 

If there is any surplus funding as of October 1 of the given fiscal year, an employer will be able to receive funding for an apprentice for up to 6400 hours (an increase from 3200). The increase would allow employers to continue to receive funding for their third and fourth year apprentices. 

Employers with level 1 and 2 apprentices will have priority until October of the fiscal year, however, if a surplus in budget remains as of October, eligible employers could continue to receive funding for their apprentices third and fourth years.

The GNWT is actively working to increase the number of female apprentices in a predominately male field. To incentivize the hiring of females in the non-traditional trades and meet the labour demands in the trades, employers hiring female apprentices in non-traditional trades will now be eligible to receive $15.20 per hour per female apprentice.

There are three traditional trades: hairstylist, cook and baker. 


Frequently Asked Questions