[Skip to Content]
Sir John A. Macdonald


A+ A-

There are many ways you can get apprenticeships training and prepare for a new career in the skilled trades. There are over 140 recognized trades in Ontario. The first thing you’ll need to do is to do research on the trades you are interested in. In addition to speaking with employees, apprenticeships and journey persons in the trade you are researching, you may also use the following sources:

High School Students: Is Co-op/OYAP for you?

A co-op placement can be a great way to see what the skilled trades are all about and earn a credit(s) toward your high school diploma. OYAP (Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program) is the next step towards a regular apprenticeship. In addition to earning credits toward your high school diploma you will also receive credit for hours toward the total number required for your particular trade apprenticeship. If you’re 16 years or older and have completed 16 credits toward the OSSD, you may qualify. For more information, contact your guidance counsellor, technological education teacher, or call the H.W.D.S.B. OYAP co-ordinator (Lee Ann Armstrong) at 905-527-5092 ext. 2631. Additional information is available at https://www.oyap.com.

Finding an employer in a union to hire you as an apprentice will be your most challenging step.

What are key points to finding an employer who will hire me as an apprentice?

Finding an apprenticeship is just like finding any other job – you have to knock on doors and contact employers. It’s hard work, and it could take months. During that time, you need to stay positive and motivated, just as in any other job search. Start by creating a well-written resume and cover letter.

Once you’ve found an employer/sponsor, either you or your employer should contact your local Employment Ontario office. One of their Employment and Training Consultants will work with you and your employer to complete the required training agreement to register you as an apprentice.

I’ve found my employer. What happens next?

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 and 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 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.
Hamilton Office is (905)-521-7764.

In early 2007, the Federal Government announced the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant which is a financial incentive available to apprentices registered in one of the Red Seal trades. This grant is awarded upon completion of your first and second year of your apprenticeship.  Learn more about this grant.

Certificate of Apprenticeship – Once you have completed your in-school training, the mandatory hours required for the trades that are legislated by TQAA and all of the skills have been signed off in your Training Standard/Schedule of Training, contact your Employment 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 you 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 license, 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 percent. 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. Once you have passed your exam, a full sized Certificate of Qualification will then be issued as well as a wallet-sized card.

The Next Step Is Up To You

This guide has been produced as a resource to help you start your investigation into the skilled trades and the exceptional career opportunities available there. You’ll learn a lot more as you progress but the most important step, understanding your choices, is the first one.

Someone once said that it’s choice not chance that determines your destiny. Today, a career as a skilled tradesperson is a choice that many young men and women should consider, and one that parents and educators should know more about.

There is a unique job satisfaction that comes from being a skilled worker. Couple that with the respect and self esteem that come with being a person whose skills are essential to our society and you’ve got powerful reasons to think about becoming a skilled tradesperson.

So take the time to understand your choices and use all the resources available to help you decide. Then, the next step is up to you.

Updated on Friday, May 25, 2018.
Back to the top