Rather than waiting for prospective apprentices to approach you about a job, employers who actively hire and train apprentices share advice for attracting new hires. Employers can also search Resources by Region.
Key Tips to Finding the Right Apprentice
Have a think about what your company needs
What occupation or trade do you want an apprentice to fill? What knowledge and skills will they need to develop? What qualifications, interests or abilities should they have already? Just as important, what kind of person should they be to work well with your team?
Ask your own employees
Your employees and journeypersons are in a good position to introduce good candidates. The point is, your own employees will often know job seekers, and because they also know your company they have a good feel for who would make a good addition to your team. What’s more, they can give candidates a useful perspective on your company and the opportunities it offers. It all helps toward ensuring the right fit.
Talk to your local high school or community college
Many high schools run pre-apprenticeship programs for a variety of trades, and their career counsellors will know of students who are looking for work placements. Community colleges also have students and recent grads looking for employer sponsors, and they can help you find a good match. If you have time, you can even attend career fairs at local schools.
Contact your union or trade association
In some industries, trade unions act as employer sponsors for apprentices, and are looking for employers to provide short term work placements. This is a great way to see if an individual is a good fit with your company without taking on a long term responsibility
Scan the want ads or advertise online
Check out LinkedIn Recruiter, ca.indeed.com, workopolis.com and ziprecruiter.com for talented young men and women who are eager to enter the trades.
Ask your Apprenticeship Authority
Visit the Red Seal website and connect to your provincial or territorial Apprenticeship Office. If you are unfamiliar with local resources, your local employer association can point you in the right direction.
Remember, Apprenticeship Pays
It pays in productivity and profits, customer satisfaction, employer morale and much, much more. Access CAF-FCA’s brochure, Apprenticeship: An Introduction for Employers and our Employer Handbook to get more tips and resources.
We can teach them the technical skills they require, but the strong work ethic, positive attitude and ambition needs to come from within the individual. That is why he looks for employees with ‘heart’, who want to do well and have a willingness to learn. These are the qualities that result in productive employees and a successful company.
Eric Lessard, President/Owner Petro-Canada Certigard Sainte-Foy, QC
Best Practices for Mentorship
Select the Right Mentor
Mentors need more than technical competence – they should have the ability to teach. They need to both show the apprentice how to do things and explain why so the apprentice can solve problems on their own in the future. Success is based largely on the mentor’s ability to communicate and support knowledge transfer.
Offer Mentorship Training
Mentors benefit from training and ongoing support. The journeyperson-apprentice relationship relies on a mentor’s ability to explain difficult tasks and provide critical feedback, something that doesn’t always come naturally. Knowing what to teach and when, as well as procedures for signing off on new skills, is helpful.
Create a Training Plan
A training plan serves as a benchmarking tool to track progress and identify strengths and weaknesses. Combined with the logbook, it can guide journeypersons and their apprentices when discussing training goals and requirements. It ensures the mentor and apprentice see progress and can identify skills gaps.
Ensure Variety of Work Experiences
Apprentices need exposure to a variety of tasks. Throughout the stages of an apprenticeship, journeypersons must know when to provide intense support and when to let the apprentice practice their skills and learn from their mistakes. A well-rounded apprentice has opportunities to apply their skills in different situations.
Provide Tools to Evaluate Performance
Establishing criteria and a schedule for formal performance evaluation is a best practice that helps assess whether the apprentice is learning at the required level. Some employers use skills checklists, quarterly evaluation forms and meeting records to track the learning process. Others focus on field assignments and skills demonstrations.
Inspire Apprentice Loyalty
Many employers fear an apprentice will leave once certified. Apprentices tell us they are more likely to stay when an employer provides a mentor willing to teach them and they understand opportunities for career advancement within the company. Apprentices want to understand the company’s values, feel they are part of a team and be provided with a variety of work experiences. A positive work environment is essential to long-term retention.
Become a Member of 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.