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Apprenticeship: the best way to learn

An apprentice is someone who is learning a trade and has a formal training contract with a sponsor. And working as an apprentice is one of the best ways to learn. Approximately 20 per cent of your time is spent learning theoretical instructions in school and the other 80 per cent is paid, hands-on job training, with mentoring from an experienced journeyperson.

And remember, if you want to work in a compulsory trade completing an apprenticeship is mandatory – click here for a list of compulsory and voluntary trades. Check out the FAQs below to learn more about what’s involved.

  • What are of the benefits of an apprenticeship?
    • Earn while you learn: Students have the opportunity to earn while they learn.
    • Unlimited opportunities: Move into training, management or even start your own business.
    • Financially rewarding: A career in the skilled trades can be lucrative. Some trades people make more than $60,000 annually right out of trades school.
    • See the results: Work with your hands, demonstrate your skills and see the results.
  • How does someone become an apprentice?
    He or she finds a sponsor willing to ensure that he or she is provided with training according to the Apprenticeship Training Standard established by the Ontario College of Trades (look for sponsors right here on this website under “Job Bank”). A sponsor may be an individual, employer, third-party sponsor group, or any entity able to provide an apprentice with opportunities to learn the skills necessary to practice the trade. (Note: If you have not signed a Registered Training Agreement with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, and are not a member of the Ontario College of Trades, you are not an apprentice).
  • How long does it take to complete an apprenticeship?
    The length of time it takes to complete an apprenticeship will depend on the trade or occupation. Generally, it takes two to five years.
  • Does the government provide financial support to apprentices?
    Apprentices can benefit from the Ontario government’s Apprenticeship Scholarship and Loans for Tools programs. Both the Ontario and the federal government offer grants during and at the completion of the apprenticeship program. Find out about financial resources available to apprentices here.

For more information visit www.earnwhileyoulearn.ca and www.collegeoftrades.ca.

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