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Becoming an Apprentice
If you are considering a career in the skilled trades, apprenticeship is the most common way of developing the skills you need to be certified. Here are some basic steps to keep in mind if apprenticeship is your post-secondary pathway of choice.
Consider the five easy steps to apprenticeship training
STEP 1 Finish High School
Just like college or university, the minimum requirement for apprenticeship in most trades across Canada is Grade 12. Consider which courses will be an asset to your apprenticeship while you are still in high school. Many trades call for workers with good math and science skills. The skilled trades also require superior problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, teamwork and digital skills.
STEP 2 Choose a Trade
The skilled trades include more than 300 occupations, from crane operator to hairstylist, carpenter to millwright. To choose the one for you, assess your interests and skills. Talk to your parents, teachers and tradespeople for advice. Consult local employers to find out what trades are in demand. Visit a college campus to see trades training facilities and find out what pre-apprenticeship opportunities are available.
STEP 3 Get Hired
Finding a position as an apprentice is just like any other job search. Approach employers to express your interest in opportunities to work for them. Many employers hire helpers or labourers first, moving them into apprenticeship positions when they have proven themselves. Trade unions may also connect you with apprenticeship opportunities – contact them to find out about apprentice intakes.
Step 4 Register & Train
Follow the steps established by your regional apprenticeship authority to become an apprentice. Usually, you and your employer sign a contract with the apprenticeship authority outlining the length of your program, the skills you must learn and wages you will be paid. Most apprentices receive a log book to track their skills development and are notified when it’s time to go to technical training.
Step 5 Start Your Career!
After completing the required hours of on-the-job training, attending all levels of technical training and passing the exam for your trade, you will receive a Certificate of Qualification. This is just the beginning of a career in the skilled trades. Many journeypersons go on to become supervisors, mentors, entrepreneurs, union representatives and college instructors. How far you go is up to you!
Become A Member, Join CAF-FCA
Our members are apprenticeship champions, practitioners and trainers committed to apprentice success. They believe research, collaboration and promotion support the continued evolution of Canada’s world-class apprenticeship system. If this sounds like you, join us!View membership benefits
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