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There’s an Apprenticeship for that

by ​Carolyn Leighton-Hilborn
Car Mechanic
 

Did you know that there are over 400 trades in Canada?

While many job seekers don’t think about the trades as a career option, Ontario has many opportunities for working in the trades, and they can be very rewarding careers. Did you know, approximately 1 in 5 employed Canadians work in the skilled trades in many sectors of the Canadian economy?

There are skilled trade options available in construction, motive power, industrial and service industries. The breadth of opportunities within the skilled trades is incredible and definitely worth checking out. Trades are designated as either compulsory or voluntary: A compulsory trade (or a regulated trade) is a trade in which registration as an apprentice, journeyperson candidate or certification as a journeyperson is mandatory. A voluntary trade is a trade in which certification and Ontario College of Trades membership are not legally required to practice the trade.

Since apprenticeships offer you the opportunity to learn a skilled trade through practical job experience and in-school training, you earn a living while you learn the trade. In fact, about 90 percent of the apprenticeship is on-the-job learning under the supervision of skilled tradespeople. The other 10% takes place at a post-secondary institution or other approved training organization.

With all these options available and the ability to earn while you learn, you would think that the trades are “full”. However, in many trades most of the workforce is getting close to retirement age. In addition, the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum states that “From 2019 to 2023, an estimated 67,000 new journeypersons will be required to sustain workforce certification levels across the 10 largest Red Seal trades in Canada, excluding Quebec and the Territories. Although the pace of employment growth in many skilled trades is expected to slow compared to the rapid expansion over the last decade, workforce retirements continue to rise. Keeping pace with the demand for skills and workforce certification will require attracting 167,739 new apprentices over the next five years”. (https://caf-fca.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019-National-LMI-Report.pdf). This means that we still have a demand for skilled trades workers and that this is the perfect time to investigate a career in the trades.

The first step is to identify your skills and interests. With so many options available, it’s important to know what is required for entry into an apprenticeship as well as what the job entails once you are hired. Lutherwood Employment Service Centre's offer free career assessments that help identify your skills and suitable apprenticeship opportunities. You can also visit www.collegeoftrades.ca to learn more about the trades.

To start your career, you will need to find an employer willing to accept and register you as an apprentice. An apprentice is a person wishing to learn skills and holds an agreement with an employer that provides the skills training environment. As a registered apprentice, the hours you work and the learning you experience will all count toward your certification. Achieving certification means that you have mastered the required skills and knowledge in your chosen field. In addition, there are 55 trades that you can receive a Red Seal endorsement for, which means your certification is recognized in other provinces. To learn more about the Red Seal visit: www.red-seal.ca.

If you are job searching, consider the trades and multiple apprenticeship opportunities. There are many long-term rewards for getting into a trade and Ontario has a great demand for skilled tradespeople. You might just find a rewarding career in a field that you love.

If you would like more information on apprenticeships and career exploration, an Employment Advisor at Lutherwood Employment Services can offer you free assistance.