An apprenticeship is an agreement between a person who wants to learn a skill and an employer who needs a skilled worker. For the majority of apprenticeships you receive most of your training on the job from other more experienced workers - actually according to Employment Ontario 90% of most apprenticeship training is provided in the workplace. However, you also are required to complete some classroom instruction at an educational institution for a theoretical foundation. One important thing to know is that there are two categories of trades; for some you must get a Certificate of Qualification- meaning that you must pass a provincial exam to prove you are indeed skilled in your trade, and the others certification is voluntary. The education component of apprenticeships prepares you for certification.
If you are the type of person who enjoys working with your hands, you feel like you couldn't see yourself sitting in an office, or you prefer to learn by "doing" rather than listening then maybe an apprenticeship is for you. Actually, my partner is one of these people - he has a knack for fixing things, problem solving, hates to sit still and is a mechanic. When he graduated from high school he started working right away in at an auto-shop and did one three month term a year in school. Eventually, he went on to work as a truck mechanic and even went up to Yellowknife to work on the famous and dangerous Ice Roads - in Yellowknife the salaries tend to be higher. One good think about careers in the trades is that you are eligible to work in many provinces across Canada. Actually, there is something called the Red Seal Endorsement, which permits skilled workers of elgible trades to work anywhere in Canada.
There is a high demand for skilled workers in the current industry. Industries need to stay up to date with technology which is changing at a rapid rate in order to keep up with the global economy. According to the Ontario Business Report by 2020 Ontario will face a shortage of 190,000 skilled workers due to retiring baby boomers. So, right now the province is really trying to attract people to skilled trades. You can apply for a $1,000/year tax dedcutible apprenticeship incentive grant which will help to pay for books, transportation, tutition, tools etc.
There are over 150 trades to choose from ranging from steamfitters, cabinetmakers, arborists, hairstylists, automotive painers and many more. The trades are divided into four categories:
- Motor Power
There are so many different paths you can choose when you graduate from highschool; university, college, or even working right away. When you're doing an apprenticeship you are a worker, so you earn as you learn.
Below are some helpful links: