An apprentice is someone who learns a skilled trade on the job under the direction of more experienced workers. 85-90% of training takes place on the job performing and practicing the skills and competencies as outlined in the Training Standard
for the trade.
Apprentices also complete postsecondary classroom instruction as a part of their training. This usually takes place at a local college or approved training facility. In order to receive an "Offer of Classroom Training Letter" you must have a Registered Training Agreement with a Sponsor and the MAESD (Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development
). You will be put on the MAESD's waitlist for the in-school training on the date that your training agreement is registered. You can only accept an offer for postsecondary schooling after you have graduated from high school.
Cooperative Education students in high school can try out apprenticeship on a Co-op work placement in a skilled trade by participating in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)
. Through OYAP, students may also have the opportunity to become signed apprentices and receive a Registered Training Agreement while still in high school.
Employers sign high school students as apprentices through OYAP for the duration of the placement only, but have the option to hire on the student after graduation and continue training. If this is not an option, graduating high school students will need to find an employer to continue their postsecondary apprenticeship training. A new training agreement must be signed with each new employer who trains you. When you leave high school, graduating OYAP apprentices must contact the MAESD to keep them updated on your employment status.
There are many resources available to assist you in finding employment in your trade. Speaking to past OYAP employers is a good place to start. There are also some great online job resources, such as: Employment Ontario Ontario Job Bank Job Gym
Postsecondary apprentices have the benefit of earning a wage while you learn and may qualify for government apprenticeship grants and incentives
All apprentices, including OYAP apprentices, must become members of the Ontario College of Trades; however, OYAP students in high school are exempt from certain OCOT requirements
Becoming an apprentice can be an important first step to learning new skills and building a rewarding career. Jobs in the skilled trades pay well and are respected, interesting and challenging.
Apprentices become skilled workers once they have acquired the knowledge and skills in a trade or occupation and are certified by a provincial or territorial authority. There are hundreds of trades
to choose from. Some require you to take a qualification exam once your training is complete. Training in what are known as Red Seal Trades
means that your qualifications are recognized in other provinces and territories.