5 Step Process for an Ontario Apprenticeship

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Step 1 – Research

Do research on the trades you’re interested in! There are over 140 recognized trades in Ontario covering a broad spectrum of career options. By doing some research, you are able to see what skilled trades suit YOU – your skills, interests, abilities, and personality. More too, decide how long you plan to commit to completing an apprenticeship. Some trades (including and Electrical Apprenticeship, Plumbing Apprenticeship etc.) can take up to 5 years to complete. Also, find out if there is a demand for the various trades and consider a career that you would love to pursue, not just the financial rewards. To learn more, call us at 1-800-728-0137 or visit the Merit Ontario job board at www.4openshop.ca 

Step 2 – Education

The entrance requirements for a trade are set by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. In some cases it’s Grade 10, however, most employers are looking for those with Grade 12. With respect to courses, trades differ. However, a high school education with a strong foundation (70% overall average) in math, sciences, and communications is usually important. If you haven’t completed the required academic level for your selected trade no problem! Individuals that do not have these academic levels can still apply for pre-apprenticeship training with the PAT Institute. Just visit www.patinstitute.ca and apply today to gain the PAT Advantage!

Pre-Apprenticeship training programs with the PAT Institute provides you the introductory skill-sets needed to pursue an apprenticeship of your chosen trade. They are offered through the Pre-Apprenticeship Training Institute and other institutions and you receive a diploma or certificate upon completion. Generally, PAT programs last 12-26 weeks (3-6 months) while others can take one or two years. Taking such training is optional however, training with PAT provides you with all the skills and safety training necessary you more attractive to a potential employer. With industry job linking opportunities such as that with Merit Ontario, the Ontario Electrical League (OEL) and the CLAC Job Assistance Programs, you can put yourself in demand with the PAT Advantage!

For more information on the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, please visit: http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/

Step 3 – Employment

This will be the most challenging step! Finding an employer or an open-shop union to hire you as an apprentice, you have a couple of options and the first one should be to visit the Merit Ontario job board at www.4openshop.ca. More too, the PAT Institute is able to link their graduates with industry employers using this job board initiative as well as other programs such as the CLAC Job Assistance Program and the OEL Job Board. This is where the industry hires from and PAT grads represent the highest per cent of individuals hired from this job link program.

Step 4 – Training

Congratulations! Now you or the employer should contact the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) and arrange for an Employment and Training Consultant to register you as an apprentice. An Employment and Training Consultant will come to your workplace where you will be asked to sign the apprenticeship training
agreement/contract of apprenticeship between yourself, the employer and MTCU. There is a one time nominal fee involved when you are registered which is payable by the apprentice. You are now on your way to learning on the job, completing your hours, and achieving the required on-the-job competencies.

MTCU is responsible for providing you with your Training Standard or Schedule of Training and scheduling you for your in-school training. They will also advise you of when and where you have been registered to attend in-school training. The school will contact you prior to your scheduled training and you will be responsible for paying your
classroom fees prior to starting your classes.

An Employment and Training Consultant will be assigned to you and they will be your contact regarding training or inquiries regarding your apprenticeship. The phone number of the MTCU 1-800-461-4608.

Step 5 – Certification

Certificate of Apprenticeship – Once you have completed your in-school training, the mandatory hours required for the trades that are legislated by TQAA (Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act) and all of the skills have been signed off in your Training Standard/Schedule of Training, contact your Employment and Training Consultant. It is up to you to apply for this Certificate and provide the necessary documentation. MTCU does not automatically send them out. They will require a letter from your employer stating that you have completed the required number of hours of your apprenticeship, along with
your Training Standard/Schedule of Training and proof that you have completed your schooling. It is important to apply and receive this certificate because it may impact your wages.

Certificate of Qualification (CofQ) – To receive journeyperson status, which is also referred to as a ticket and/or licence, you will have to write the provincial qualification exam required in your trade. This exam is mandatory for the Restricted and Compulsory trades; however, it is advisable to write this exam even if you are in an Unrestricted or Voluntary trade. There is a fee to write your exam and is payable at the time you book your exam through your local MTCU Apprenticeship office. The exam is approximately 3 hours in length and to pass the exam, you require a minimum score of 70 per cent. If you are unsuccessful in achieving this minimum grade you can make arrangements to re-write at a future date. Some employers may require that you have passed this exam as a condition of employment as it ensures that your skills and knowledge meet the industry standards.

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