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Gaining Experience

Gaining experience is important to securing a job opportunity as most employers are looking for work experience in the trades. Here are some ways to gain this experience.

Key Tips

Career Awareness Programs

Key Tip
There are a number of career awareness activities for young people interested in learning more about skilled trades careers

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There are a number of career awareness activities for young people interested in learning more about skilled trades careers. Across the country, trades awareness programs, camps and try-a-trade opportunities expose young people to trade skills and career opportunities. In general, these programs offer opportunities to use tools and technology to build things and solve problems. Some of these programs are designed to meet the needs of particular groups, including young women, Aboriginal peoples, immigrants or youth at risk, while others are open to all.

Pre-Apprenticeship Programs

Key Tip
For those interested in exploring the trades further, a pre-apprenticeship program provides opportunities to learn basic trades skills

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For those interested in exploring the trades further, a pre-apprenticeship program provides opportunities to learn basic trades skills and typically includes safety training, a work placement and credit toward apprenticeship technical training delivered at a college or union training centre. Trades programs offered each year vary based on the region, organization and institution. Common components of these pre-apprenticeship programs include:

  • academic preparation, including math courses
  • essential skills
  • safety training
  • personal and professional development
  • hands-on skills development
  • exploration of various sectors
  • potential job opportunities and the latest labour market research
  • job shadowing
  • support to find a new job and to start out in that new job
  • employer contacts and interview preparation

Apprenticeship Programs

Key Tip
Apprenticeship is a work-based post-secondary pathway that includes both on-the-job training and technical training

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Apprenticeship is a work-based post-secondary pathway that includes both on-the-job training and technical training. In most parts of Canada, apprentices spend 80 to 90 per cent of their time at the workplace learning from a journeyperson mentor, with the remainder at technical training usually delivered at an educational institution or union training centre. Apprenticeship programs are offered across the country in multiple trades. Programs range in length from 2 to 4 years. At the end of the training, apprentices write a multiple-choice examination. Individuals who achieve over 70 per cent earn a Certification of Qualification.

Searching For A Job

Key Tip
Apprentices must practice and develop their skills in a work environment, but finding initial employment can be a challenge.

Apprentices must practice and develop their skills in a work environment, but finding initial employment can be a challenge. Prospective apprentices should network and connect with local employers and/or ask pre-apprenticeship program providers how they connect graduates with opportunities to gain experience. Some labour unions offer pre-apprenticeship programs or do apprentice intakes, so it is worth doing some research on entry points into your trade. In addition to these routes, consider:

Resources

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Aboriginal Community Careers Employment Services Society West Vancouver, British Columbia

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Aboriginal Labour Force Alliance Whitehorse, Yukon

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Aboriginal Labour Force Development Circle (First Nation) Shannonville, Ontario

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Akaitocho Territory Government Fort Resolution, NWT

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Akwesasne Area Management Board Cornwall, Ontario

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Algonquin College

Trades programming for women is offered.

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Algonquin National Human Resources Sustainable Development Corporation Notre-Dame-du-Nord, Quebec

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Anishinabek Nation (Union of Ontario Indians) North Bay, Ontario

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Arctic College

Trades programs offered

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Arctic College

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) Program for Internationally trained newcomers who wish to work in Canada.

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Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (Urban) Kahnawake, Quebec

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Kahnawake, Quebec

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Athabasca Tribal Council Fort McMurray, Alberta

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Bredin Centre for Learning

The Bredin Centre provides resources and supports to help internationally trained professionals, technicians and tradespersons secure employment in their field of training.

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British Columbia Institute of Technology

Trades programming is offered for women and Indigenous learners.

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Building Futures for Youth

Program consists of a competitive application and selection process, safety training at Nova Scotia Community College and a 5 to7 week paid summer work placement with a host employer in the construction industry.

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Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS)

CCIS helps refugees obtain the necessary employability skills through one-on-one counselling and workshop classes. Pre-apprenticeship programs in trades such as cook and millwright are offered.

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Camosun College

Trades programming is offered for women and Indigenous learners.

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Cariboo-Chilcotin Aboriginal Training Employment Centre Society Williams Lake, British Columbia

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Centre for Aboriginal Human Resources Development Winnipeg, Manitoba

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Centre for Skills Development and Training

A job board and trades programming for women and immigrants is offered.

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Coast Salish Aboriginal Employment & Training Society Duncan, British Columbia

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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College Boreal

Trades programming for women is offered.

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College of the North Atlantic

Trades programming for women and immigrants.

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Community Futures Treaty Seven Siksika, Alberta

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Conestoga College

Trades programming for women is offered.

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Council of Yukon First Nations Whitehorse, Yukon

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Cree Regional Authority Kuujjuaq, Quebec

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Dehcho First Nations Fort Simpson, NWT

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Employment and Social Development Canada

Trades-specific essential skills information and supports for improving your essential skills, including trade profiles with math and problem solving questions, a trades math workbook, essential skills workbook for the trades and a guide for preparing for the Red Seal exam.

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Fanshawe College

Apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, Co-op Diploma, Techniques, and Diploma Programs

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First Peoples Development Inc. Winnipeg, Manitoba

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Gabriel Dumont Institute Training and Employment Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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George Brown College

Trades programming for women is offered.

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Government of Ontario

Bridge Training Programs help immigrants assess their skills and transition to employment. Trades occupations are included.

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Grand River and Employment Training Inc. Ohsweken, Ontario

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Gwich’in Tribal Council Inuik, NWT

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Hammer Heads

A training program within the construction industry that offers apprenticeship career opportunities to the youth in under-resourced neighbourhoods in the Greater Toronto area. The program is comprised of safety training, hands-on skills development, mentoring and coaching.

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Helping Immigrant Reach Employment (HIRE)

HIRE offers careers services and job support to immigrants, including supported referrals to First Aid, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, H2S Alive and Forklift Safety.

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Holland College

General program with exposure to multiple trades.

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Immigrant Employment Council of BC and BCIT

FAST BC (Facilitating Access to Skilled Trades in BC) is a resource for qualified, trained tradespersons. It provides information about trade standards and requirements, comprehensive competency assessment and information about skills gaps.

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Immigrant Services of Nova Scotia

Employment supports are offered to immigrants seeking credential recognition and trades employment.

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Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Inuvik, NWT

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI)

JEDI is an Indigenous organization dedicated to supporting Indigenous participation in New Brunswick’s economy.

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Kakivak Association Iqaluit, Nunavut

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council Atikameg, Alberta

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Kitikmeot Inuit Association Cambridge Bay, Nunavut

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Kitikmeot Inuit Association Cambridge Bay, Nunavut

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Kivalliq Partners in Development Rankin Inlet, Nunavut

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Kivalliq Partners in Development Rankin Inlet, Nunavut

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Ktunaxa Nation Council Cranbrook, British Columbia

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Ktunaxa Nation Council Cranbrook, British Columbia

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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La Cite Collegiale

Trades programming for women is offered.

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Lesser Slave Lake Indian Regional Council

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Loyalist College

Trades programming for women is offered.

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Mamaweswen, The North Shore Tribal Council Cutler, Ontario

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. Thompson, Manitoba

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Manitoba Metis Federation Winnipeg, Manitoba

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Matawa Employment and Training Thunder Bay, Ontario

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Mawiw Council Inc. Fredericton, New Brunswick

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Metis Nation of Ontario Ottawa, Ontario

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Métis Provincial Council of British Columbia Surrey, British Columbia

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Métis Settlements General Council Edmonton, Alberta

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Miawpukek First Nation Conne River, Newfoundland and Labrador

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Mid Coast First Nations Training Society Bella Bella, British Columbia

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI Summerside, PEI

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Mi’Kmaq Employment and Training Secretariat Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Mohawk College

Trades programming for women is offered.

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Mohawk College

Programs and services are offered to immigrants, including pre-apprenticeship training.

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Mushuau Innu Band Council Natuashish, Newfoundland and Labrador

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Native Council of Nova Scotia Truro, Nova Scotia

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council Fredericton, New Brunswick

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Niagara Peninsula Area Aboriginal Management Board Ohsweken, Ontario

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Nisga’a Employment Skills & Training New Aiyansh, British Columbia

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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North East Native Advancing Society Fort St. John, British Columbia

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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North Peace Tribal Council High Level, Alberta

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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North Shore Micmac District Council Eel Ground, New Brunswick

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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North Vancouver Island Aboriginal Training Society Campbell River, British Columbia

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Northwest Community College

Trades programming is offered for women and Indigenous learners.

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Northwest Territory Metis Nation Fort Smith, NWT

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Nova Scotia Community College

Trades programs for women and Indigenous learners are offered.

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Nunatsiavut Government Makkovik, Newfoundland and Labrador

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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NunatuKavut Happy Valley, Newfoundland and Labrador

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Nuu-chah-nulth Employment & Training Program (NETP) Port Alberni, British Columbia

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Ogemawahj Tribal Council Rama, Ontario

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Okanagan College

Trades programming is offered for women and Indigenous learners.

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Okanagan Training & Development Council Kelowna, British Columbia

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres Toronto, Ontario

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program

A school-to-work program that allows students to explore and experience skilled trades career opportunities, starting in Grade 11 or Grade 12.

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Option Femme Emploi

General program with exposure to multiple trades.

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Options and Opportunities (O2)

A 3-year program designed to help students work toward a career or occupation. Students get supports that respond to their learning needs and linkages to the workplace and post-secondary destinations.

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Oteenow Employment and Training Society Edmonton, Alberta

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada

Programs for newcomer skilled tradespersons, including certifications, training and international qualification recognition.

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Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment & Training Association Prince George, British Columbia

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Qalipu Mi’kmag First Nation Band Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Red River College

English as a Second Language for Internationally-Trained Tradespeople
Other trades programming for immigrants is offered

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Red River College

Indigenous trades programming is offered.

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Red River College

Trades programs for women are offered.

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Rupertsland Institute Edmonton, Alberta

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Sahtu Dene Council Deline, NWT

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Saint John River Valley Tribal Council Woodstock First Nation, New Brunswick

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission and the Canadian International Training and Education Corporation

IMMSkills program is a skills assessment for internationally trained tradespeople who want to work in Saskatchewan.

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Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies

Trades program offered for Indigenous learners.

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Saskatchewan Indian Training Assessment Group Inc. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Trades programs for women are offered.

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Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Trades program offered for Indigenous learners.

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Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship

High school students may pursue trades training while also earning credits towards their high school diploma.

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Saskatoon Trades and Skills Centre

Pre-entry trades training with an one week work placement.

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Sault College

Trades programming for women is offered.

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Schools North Apprenticeship Program (SNAP)

SNAP provides students who are interested in skilled trades with a way to gain valuable work experience while also attending high school.

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Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation Sheshatshiu, Newfoundland and Labrador

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Shooniiyaa Wa-Biitong Kenora, Ontario

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Shuswap Nation Tribal Council Kamloops, British Columbia

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Sioux Lookout Area Aboriginal Management Board Sioux Lookout, Ontario

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Six Independent Alberta First Nations of Alberta Hobbema, Alberta

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Skilled Trades Employment Program (STEP), British Columbia Construction Association.

A network of 11 offices in the province connect employers in the construction industry and job seekers. Upgrading and financial supports are offered.

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Southern First Nations Secretariat Bothwell, Ontario

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Status of Women, NWT

The Northern Women in Mining, Oil and Gas Project is a highly innovative pilot project that is specifically designed to determine if the number of northern women in industrial/trades occupations can be significantly increased through a dedicated and strategic information and training initiative. Pre-entry trades training is offered to women.

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Sto:Lo Aboriginal Skills & Employment Training Chilliwack, British Columbia

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Success Skills Centre

Internationally Trained Professionals/ Skilled Workers Bridging Stream Program

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Supporting Employment & Economic Development (SEED)

Recognition Counts is a program providing supports to skilled immigrants wishing to work in their fields of expertise in Manitoba.

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Syncrude Aboriginal Trades Preparation Program

To provide training to Indigenous clients from the Wood Buffalo Region who are interested in working in trades, upgrading their education and meeting the qualifications to be a Syncrude employee.

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Thompson Rivers University

Trades programming is offered for women and Indigenous learners.

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Tlicho Government Behchoko, NWT

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council

Helps immigrants find meaningful employment that matches their education, skills and experience. Immigrants can gain industry insights, professional contacts and job search support from professionals in their field.

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Trade HERizons

During the 16 week program, women are guided through an extensive learning opportunity that prepares them for jobs in the plumbing, electrical and carpentry industries. The students spend 13 weeks learning through classroom and hands-on activities at both the YWCA and Saskatchewan Polytechnic before moving to three-week job placements as part of the program.

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Trades Winds to Success Training Society

The program recruits Indigenous people residing in Alberta who have an interest in pursuing training in the boilermaker, carpenter, electrician, ironworker, millwright, plumber, steamfitter/pipefitter, welder and insulator trades. The Society offers a sixteen week pre-apprenticeship program.

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Tradeswork Training Society (part of a BC ITA women’s initiative)

Trades programming is offered for women.http://tradeworks.bc.ca/

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Tribal Chiefs Employment and Training Services Association Edmonton, Alberta

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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TRICORP Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Tungasuvvingat Inuit Ottawa, Ontario

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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UA Local 67 Brantford

Programs offered in welding and plumbing for women.

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UA Piping Industry College

Trades programming is offered for women and Indigenous learners.

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Vancouver Island University

Trades programming is offered for women and Indigenous learners.

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Wabun Tribal Council (Mamo-Nuskomitowin) Timmins, Ontario

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Walpole Island First Nation Wallaceburg, Ontario

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Western Cree Tribal Council Grande Prairie, Alberta

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Wikwemikong, Ontario

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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Women Building Futures

Women Building Futures is a leader in trades training for women, with extensive experience recruiting women into the heavy industrial workforce at a consistent employment placement rate of 90 per cent.

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Women in Resource Development Corporation

General program with exposure to multiple trades.

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Women Unlimited

The Career Exploration Program is a free, 14-week program that allows women to explore their interests in the trades or technologies.

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Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc.

Programs offered in mechanical millwright for women.

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Yellowhead Tribal Development Foundation Enoch, Alberta

Training and employment support is offered to Indigenous clients.

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YMCA Ottawa

Programs and services are offered to immigrants, including pre-apprenticeship programs.

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YMCA Toronto

Employment programs and services are offered to immigrants. Trades occupations are included.

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Youth Apprenticeship Program

High school students earn hours and credits towards their apprenticeship while also earning their high school diploma.

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Yukon College

General program with exposure to multiple trades.

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