Leaders in Workforce Development

Helping employers, jobseekers and newcomers connect to our skilled, dedicated workforce.



Apprenticeship Programs Ontario Employers Need to Know About

Not every high school, college, or university has the same kinds of work placement programs. High school, college, and university students can participate in co-op programs where in-class learning and hands-on work experience combine to give students training in their sector of interest. Apprenticeship programs are similar but there are some key differences to co-operative education. Read on to learn about apprenticeship programs Ontario employers can benefit from. 

Apprenticeship Programs Ontario Employers Use Compared to Co-Op

Here are some of the similarities between apprenticeship programs and co-ops. Apprenticeship and co-op are both:

  • forms of post-secondary education
  • provide on-the-job training
  • provide in-class learning  
  • paid work placement opportunities 

However, some of the key differences of apprenticeship programs Ontario employers should know about include: 

  • an apprentice is considered already considered an employee of their employer, while a co-op student is first a student of their institution
  • the apprentice’s employer agrees to sponsor the apprentice, training them for a specific skilled trade while a co-op student is placed with a partnering business through their post-secondary institution
  • the apprentice’s employer monitors the apprentice’s work and the apprenticeship program is regulated by the provincial or territorial agency where the apprentice works, while a co-op student’s term is monitored and regulated by their post-secondary institution
  • upon the completion of their apprenticeship program, the apprentice will usually take an exam, once they’ve passed and can prove that they satisfy the criteria of the program, the apprentice will earn a certificate of qualification or a journeyperson certificate from their province or territory; meanwhile, co-op students will take a school exam or complete all coursework within their educational program 

The word journeyperson originates in the Medieval period: throughout Medieval Europe, journeypersons would travel from town to town to gain experience from different workshops and master craftspeople to become a master craftsperson themselves. Coming from the French word, journée meaning day, a journeyperson had the right to charge a fee for their day’s work. 

How Do Employers Benefit from Apprenticeship?

Like co-op work placements apprenticeships benefit the business as much as the apprentice. When employers hire and train apprentices they will get: 

  • Loyal employees: a Canadian Apprenticeship Forum report states that apprentices feel more loyal to the employers who trained and hired them. 
  • Monetary incentives: employers who hire and train apprentices are eligible for grants and federal tax credits. Businesses can find a cost-effective way to recruit apprentices through the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP).
  • Personalized training: when you hire an apprentice, you are training a skilled worker to your exact specifications, making them the perfect fit for your business after they’ve completed their certification; you’re preparing your business for the future by hand-picking the next generation for your business.
  • Easy hiring: the Ontario government provides an easy 6 step process to hiring apprentices in your workplace.

Consider Work Placement Programs On Your Next Hiring Push

External links are provided as informational resources only and are not necessarily endorsed by Ontario East.


Workforce Tools

New call-to-action

Subscribe to the Blog

Recent Blogs: