Frequently Asked Questions
- What is an apprenticeship?
- Why become an apprentice?
- How do I become an apprentice?
- What are the education requirements to become an apprentice?
- What’s involved in the registration process for apprenticeship?
- Do I have to pay to become an apprentice?
- How do I arrange for my in-class training?
- What are the tuition and related fees involved with my in-class training?
- Do I need to buy my own tools?
- How will I support myself while I’m attending my in-class training?
- What are the Apprentice Incentive Grant and the Apprentice Completion Grant?
- How long will it take me to become a journeyperson?
- What is the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program?
What is an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeship is an agreement between an individual (apprentice) who wants to learn a trade and an employer who needs a skilled worker. It is a way to learn job skills while you work and earn good wages. Apprenticeship combines classroom study with on-the-job experience that lets you earn a living while you learn a skilled trade. An apprenticeship program leads to professional certification as a journeyperson.
Why become an apprentice?
Canada is experiencing a critical shortage of skilled tradespeople. Employers need highly skilled workers now and graduates of trades apprenticeship programs are in demand. A career in trades can offer you a promising future in a secure, well paid and challenging occupation.
How do I become an apprentice?
To become an apprentice, you must find an employer who is willing to hire and train you. Most people apply directly to an employer, union or local committee.
Several government services, such as Job Connect or your local Employment Ontario office, can help you get started in the more than 150 skilled trades that can be learned through apprenticeship training.
For other helpful information and job listings visit Apprenticesearch.com
What are the education requirements to become an apprentice?
In general, to become an apprentice, you need to complete grade 12 or equivalent. Some trades do not require grade 12, however many employers prefer high school graduates. You cannot apply as a mature student.
What’s involved in the registration process for apprenticeship?
You cannot apply to the college for admission to an apprenticeship program. Once you have found an employer willing to train you, contact the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities apprenticeship office nearest you and set up an appointment with a training consultant. A meeting with the training consultant will be held with you and your employer to assess the employer’s ability to train you. Once this has been determined, the employer will sign an apprenticeship training agreement, which identifies you as an apprentice, and the on-the-job training component will begin.
Do I have to pay to become an apprentice?
There is a $60 fee in order to register as an apprentice. This fee will be collected by the Ontario College of Trades after meeting with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities when first registering as an apprentice. This $60 fee will also be required yearly to remain an active member of the apprentice class with the Ontario College of Trades.
How do I arrange for my in-class training?
The in-school portion of your training will be scheduled in blocks of 8-weeks, 10-weeks or 15-weeks, depending on the trade which you are registered in. Most trades consist of three 8-week blocks which are taken approximately one year apart. You will be scheduled for the in-school portion of training by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). Apprentices who have been scheduled for the in-school training will be sent an “Offer of Classroom Training” letter from the MTCU. It is important to note that seats are limited and are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Once you have confirmed with your employer that you can attend the in-school portion that you have been invited to, you must contact the Algonquin College Registrar’s Office in order to pay your fees and reserve your seat in the class.
Telephone: 1-888-269-2762 (toll free) or 613-727-7662 (local)
What are the tuition and other related fees involved with my in-class training?
Tuition fees for in-class training are $400 for eight weeks of instruction, $500 for ten weeks of instruction and $600 for fifteen weeks of instruction. An Information Technology (I.T.) fee will also be charged and will range from $43 to $86 depending on the length of your instruction. An incidental fee of $75 will be charged for each level of instruction. Apprentices in the Cook program are also charged a $150 Mobile Computing Fee.
Do I need to buy my own tools?
For some trades you will be expected to purchase the tools for that trade. For instance, some garages provide their mechanics with tools while some don’t. The cost to purchase these tools can be substantial.
The Government of Ontario offers a “Loans for Tools” program to all new apprentices in order to assist them with the cost of purchasing the tools and equipment which they need for their trade.
In 2006, the Federal Government announced the Tradesperson’s Tool Deduction which you can claim on your General Income Tax Return under Employment Expenses. For more information, visit them online at: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/.
How will I support myself while I’m attending my in-class training?
Your employer will lay you off in order for you to attend the in-class training. Apprentices may qualify for a training allowance or Employment Insurance benefits while they are in school.
Employment Ontario may also provide up to $1,500 of taxable financial support to apprentices who are not eligible to receive Employment Insurance benefits during in-school training. For more information, visit them online at: http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/apprentices/nonEI.html.
What are the Apprentice Incentive Grant and the Apprentice Completion Grant?
The federal government’s Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) is a taxable cash grant of $1,000 per year for registered apprentices once they have successfully completed their first or second year/level (or equivalent) of an apprenticeship program in one of the Red Seal trades. The AIG is meant to encourage apprentices to complete their apprenticeship program and achieve their Red Seal by helping them cover some of their expenses for tuition, travel and tools.
To help AIG applicants receive this grant, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities will send a letter to apprentices registered in Red Seal trades confirming completion of their in-school training once they have successfully completed or obtained exemption for Level 1 and/or Level 2 of their in-school training. The letter will also include information about how to apply for the AIG.
Registered apprentices who have completed their training and become a certified journeyperson in a designated Red Seal trade and who obtain either the Red Seal endorsement or a provincial or territorial Certificate of Qualification can apply for the Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG), which is a taxable cash grant of $2000.
How long will it take me to become a journeyperson?
After completing both the classroom and the on-the-job training, apprentices can receive journeyperson certification or a certificate of qualification, allowing them to earn a higher wage and work anywhere in Canada. Depending on the trade, it takes about 2 to 5 years as an apprentice to become a certified journeyperson. About 80% of the training is in the workplace; the rest is at a training institution.
What is the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program?
The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program allows qualified tradespeople to practice their trade in any province or territory in Canada without having to write additional examinations. Tradespeople are able to obtain a Red Seal endorsement on their provincial/territorial certificates by successfully completing an interprovincial Red Seal examination. Red Seal certification improves labour mobility by allowing workers qualified for work in a particular occupation in one jurisdiction to have access to similar employment opportunities in any other Canadian jurisdiction.
To date, there are 52 trades included in the Red Seal Program on a national basis. For a list of these eligible trades, visit the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program website.