What is an apprenticeship? It’s a combination of formal education and training for individuals seeking a career in the skilled trades. The great part about an apprenticeship is that it includes both on-the-job and classroom instruction, so that new students are prepared for their skilled trade with the help of technical knowledge and real-life experience.

Preparation for an apprenticeship in Ontario varies based on the individual’s circumstances, including whether they are a youth or adult in high school or college, a high school student in either grade 11 or 12, or currently in or about to attend college.

What is Pre-Apprenticeship Training?

Pre-apprenticeship training is a program aimed at preparing youth and adults not in high school or college for a career in skilled trades. Available through various organizations across Ontario, including colleges and community agencies like the Finishing Trades Institute of Ontario (FTI Ontario), training can last up to 52 weeks and covers various aspects of skilled trades, including safety training and in-school apprenticeship training.

Participants will also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through a work placement lasting an average of eight to 12 weeks.

Do You Qualify?

To qualify for pre-apprenticeship training, you will need to fall into one of the following categories:

  • graduated from high school
  • left school before finishing high school
  • unemployed or underemployed (age and eligibility for Employment Insurance are not considered)
  • Indigenous, newcomers to Canada, women, Francophone, or youth-at-risk

How Can You Apply?

  • Search for pre-apprenticeship training programs near you and apply directly to the offering organization like FTI Ontario.
  • If you need assistance finding and applying to a pre-apprenticeship training program, contact Employment Ontario for help.

What is the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program?

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is ideal for individuals in high school attending Grade 11 or 12. It offers co-op credits, which are secondary school credits earned through work placements in a skilled trade.

As a high school student, you have the opportunity to earn co-op credits in various skilled trades, such as automotive service technician, hairstylist, and general carpenter.

To participate in the OYAP, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 15 years old
  • Be enrolled in high school on a part-time or full-time basis, in Grade 11 or 12 or equivalent
  • Have earned at least 14 credits

Students who completed Grade 10 are eligible to participate in the OYAP during the summer before Grade 11. To confirm availability at your school, contact your school’s guidance counsellor or local OYAP Coordinator.

How to Can You Apply for the OYAP?

  • Contact the OYAP coordinator for your school board
  • Talk to your guidance counsellor or co-op education teacher
  • Contact Employment Ontario
  • Visit the OYAP website

Start Your New Career with an Apprenticeship in Ontario

Take the first step towards a successful career in the skilled trades by enrolling in pre-apprenticeship training with FTI Ontario.

You will be able to get the training and hands-on experience you need to start your apprenticeship and take your first steps towards a rewarding career. Contact us today for more information.