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Apprenticeship in Canada - Canadian Apprenticeship Forum

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.

Career Awareness Activities for Women

There are a number of career awareness activities for young girls and women interested in learning more about skilled trades careers. Across the country, Skills Canada and its provincial/territorial affiliates offer programs where girls learn about careers in the skilled trades and try a trade. At camps, girls have the opportunity to use tools and technology to build things and solve problems.

Consider a Career in the Skilled Trades:

Pre-Apprenticeship Programs

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 to gain hands-on work experience and technical training at a college or union training centre. The trades programs offered each year will vary based on the institution. They may focus on one trade, a sector or multiple trades. Pre-apprenticeship programs for women-only are offered across the country. 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 and
  • ongoing support

Women leave these programs with a realistic understanding of the physical, emotional and academic requirements of training and employment in the trades.

Apprenticeship Programs

Apprenticeship is a work-based post-secondary program where individuals alternate between the workplace and technical training. Apprentices spend 80 to 90 per cent of their time at the worksite learning from a journeyperson mentor and the rest of the time at a technical training institution such as a college, union or private trainer. 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.

Apprenticeship programs are open to all women. Youth Apprenticeship Programs, colleges and unions are interested in tracking the number of young women enrolled in their programs and profiling success stories.

There are a variety of programs that allow women to explore the trades and learn basic skills. Each year the programs offered vary based on demand and available funding. The links will direct you to the organization’s website so you can find out what programs are currently available.

If you are from a jurisdiction, college, union or women’s organization, share information on your latest women’s programs or initiatives on the program post page.

Searching For A Job

Use these resources to help search for a job opportunity in the skilled trades. Finding an employer sponsor is the first step to pursuing an apprenticeship: ON

Apprentice Job Match BC

Job Bank

Job Search Engines: Workopolis, Monster, All Star Jobs, Wow Jobs, Eluta, Indeed and Simply Hired

Job Boards: Career Beacon, and Local Work

Quick Survey

Help us improve the Skilled Trades Network by answering a few quick questions.

ALL (50 Resources)
British Columbia Institute of Technology
Welding Exposure to mechanical systems in automobiles, aircraft and heavy equipment.
Camosun College
  • Carpentry
  • Automotive
  • Sheet Metal/ Metal Fabrication
  • Welding
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Horticulture
College Boreal
  • Industrial Mechanic Millwright
  • Millwright
  • Machining
  • Welding
  • Electrician
  • Carpentry
College of The North Atlantic
General program with exposure to multiple trades.
George Brown College
General program with exposure to multiple trades
Holland College
General program with exposure to multiple trades
Immigrant Services in Your Area
Free services for immigrants to Canada include:
  • language assessments and classes
  • help finding a job
  • help with daily life such as finding a place to live and filling out forms and applications
  • information about community services such as mentoring
Loyalist College
  • General program with exposure to multiple trades
Northwest Community College
  • Road Building and Heavy Construction
  • Heavy Equipment Operator
Nova Scotia Community College
General program with exposure to multiple trades.
Option Femme Emploi
General program with exposure to multiple trades
Red River College
Gas Turbine Repair Overhaul Program for Aboriginal women.
Red River College
  • Gas Turbine Repair
  • Overhaul Program
Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies
  • Carpentry
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Painting
  • Framing
  • Drywall application
  • Roofing
Saskatchewan Polytechnic
  • Automotive Servicing
  • Carpentry
  • Electrical
  • Machining
  • Plumbing
  • Welding
  • Sheet Metal
  • Masonry
Saskatoon YWCA
  • Carpentry
  • Plumbing
  • Sheet Metal Fabrication
Sault College
  • Heavy Equipment Operator
  • General program with exposure to multiple trades
Thompson Rivers University
  • Electrical
  • Instrumentation Mechanic
  • Heavy Equipment Operator
  • Power Line Technician
  • Parts person
  • Piping
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