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Apprenticeships in Canada Expand Job Seeker Work Opportunities

There are many post-secondary programs in eastern Ontario to help you train for the job you want. Many of the programs support apprenticeship training. Apprenticeships in Canada provide employers with an opportunity to mentor and support a potential long-term employee who’s shown ability and interest in a trade. 

Apprenticeships in skilled trades offer you a more hands-on approach to learning. You learn under the guidance of a trusted employer and with the input of educators in the field, adding to your knowledge. 

Apprenticeships in Canada Have Changed Over the Past 10 Years

In 2019, there was a decrease in the number of registered apprenticeships in the country compared to 2018. Last year was a bit dismal as COVID-19 affected 2020 numbers (based on preliminary data). In April of 2020, new registrations decreased by 71%, and the number of certifications earned in 2020 dropped by 76% in June. However, there were signs of recovery in August and September as restrictions eased. 

While these numbers look disheartening now, the value of apprenticeships and the need for certified skilled tradespeople remains an opportunity for job seekers and employers to build a skilled workforce in eastern Ontario.

For a brighter picture, let's look more closely at what happened between 2018 and 2019. 

While numbers across Canada fell on average, these provinces and territories saw increases in their apprentice numbers: 

  1. Quebec +0.5% (126)
  2. Ontario + 1.9% (326)
  3. Prince Edward Island 3.4% (9)
  4. Nova Scotia 3.5% (51)
  5. Manitoba 15.7% (321)
  6. Yukon 17.1% (18)

Even more interesting is that the enrolment of women in apprenticeship programs has increased in trades usually dominated by men (a male-dominated trade is defined as one in which men account for more than 80% of the apprentices for that skilled trade). 

In apprenticed trades such as electrician, interior finisher and carpenter, women boosted their representation by 5.4%, 5.3%, and 5.1% respectively. Overall, between 2009 and 2019, women as apprentices in male-dominated trades increased from 3.7% to 5.9%. 

More than 50% of women stayed within female-dominated trades such as hairstylist, aesthetician and early childhood educator. And that’s a positive too. All of these trades improve services and quality of life in the eastern Ontario region. 

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Apprenticeships in Canada Kick-Start Successful Careers

It’s important to know how to find success as an apprentice. Working close to or within the trade you’re apprenticing in increases your chances of certification. Earning hands-on experience and mentorship from a seasoned tradesperson can boost your confidence in your skills. Working conditions and wages also affect how many apprentices succeed in the certification process.

While sometimes it takes apprentices longer than their program duration to earn their certification, there’s a higher level of earned income for those who successfully complete the training. It can take from 2 to 5 years to complete your apprenticeship.

How Apprenticeships Work for Job Seekers

Generally in Ontario, an apprentice is sponsored by their employer. Class time coupled with on- the-job experience helps participants better learn the job. Once certification is complete, apprentices continue working for their employers (usually for an agreed upon time period). After that time, they have the opportunity to stay, or maybe open their own business or switch jobs. The skills gained through an apprenticeship provide job seekers with tools to make money in a field they enjoy and with the means to excel at it. 

Even better, there’s the opportunity for grants and loans to help apprentices live and work while working toward skills development.

Bottom line is apprenticeship programs are integral to growing a successful skilled workforce. Employers need skilled workers to continue their trades and meet work demands. The public need dependable skilled people to fulfill their need for services like renovations, haircuts and nice landscapes. 

If an apprenticeship is not what you’re looking for as a job seeker in eastern Ontario, and you want to find out about more training opportunities, download this job seekers guide.

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






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