Apprenticeships 101: What Is An Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a post-secondary learning option for individuals interested in learning a skilled trade. It combines theory and practical with valuable on the job training.

 Apprentices work as electricians, carpenters, plumbers, cooks and mechanics in the construction, manufacturing, transportation and service sectors.

Apprentices spend most of their time learning on the job from a mentor and about 20 percent of their time learning at school or training center. Apprentices accumulate hours when working on the job and complete training levels over a 2 to 4 year period. At the end, apprentices write a multiple-choice examination and those who pass become fully certified.

There are plenty of full-time employment opportunities in the skilled trades. Many tradesmen are retiring and young people are required to replace them. Right now employers are looking to hire apprentices in trades such as mill right, industrial, mechanic, carpentry and heavy-duty equipment mechanic.

How you can prepare to for an apprenticeship:

  1. Take maths and science courses or subjects. Knowledge of math and science will help you when learning a trade. Learn to apply math and science concepts in practical ways.
  2. Majority of employers require apprentices to have a high school certificate.
  3. Having your driver's license is a bonus.
  4. Take a safety course. Take safety courses such as first aid so you can work safely on work sites or prove you can work on a team.
  5. Join a sports team or club or work on a group project listen. Team work skills is essential here and employers want to know that you are capable of working well in a team environment. 
  6. Be open to learning new things and ask questions. Employers want young people who work well with their mentors, fellow
    apprentices and workers.
  7. Demonstrate you can be responsible.

Apprentices are paid wages when at work, earning while they learn. 

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