Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program

Limestone Learning Foundation

Apprenticeship is a hands-on training program for students who want to work in a skilled trade and enjoy learning by doing. Apprenticeship training allows students to learn the necessary skills while working with qualified trades people. Some training takes place in the classroom but the majority of the training occurs in the actual workplace. These trades (156 in Ontario) often provide a very good living because of the specific skill sets acquired and the life long learning required of the worker.

A student working toward their Ontario Secondary School Diploma can be placed in an apprenticeable training experience through a Co-op placement, Focus Program or a Specialist High Skills Major Program where they receive practical experiences that may be counted towards the completion of their apprenticeship. The OYAP,  Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, starts with co-operative education and an interest in a skilled trade. From co-op, the student working in a trade specific placement will have the opportunity to identify as an OYAP apprentice with the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities.

Apprenticeship is one of the post-secondary pathway destinations students can choose as an outcome to secondary school education. Apprenticeship is a method of learning used in the skilled trades through a combination of on-the-job training and technical in-school learning based on the Training Standards provided by the Ontario College of Trades.

On-the-job training comprises about 90 per cent of the total training time, while the in-school component typically occurs at a college in eight-week blocks or one-day release for 40 weeks, depending on the availability and the Curriculum Standard.

What is a skilled trade?

Over time the small scale production of goods and services was performed by craftspeople who formed a profession that acknowledged the degree of skilled work that was being completed for money. To be considered skilled in these areas a higher level of education was required both in hands on training and through a close working mentorship provided by an experienced craftsperson/mentor. A skilled trade today is a career or occupation where a provincial or territorial apprenticeship program is available where the same skills and learning is expected. Skilled trades are an integral part of the education programs youth receive in secondary and beyond. The use of technology related to the skilled trades is essential to our daily existence from the homes we build, the cars we drive to the food we produce.

Unlike other post secondary destinations, apprentices in a skilled trade can earn wages while they receive on the job training. A Certified tradesperson is someone who has registered as an apprentice, completed all of the terms of their Registered Training Agreement (RTA) and have passed the provincial Certificate of Qualification test in the trade or craft of choice.

There are more than 150 recognized skilled trades in Ontario that offer career opportunities that appeal to almost everyone.

How does a student get started?

  • explore interests in courses related to technology and business in Grade 9 and 10;
  • onsider a cooperative education program in Grade 11 or 12;
  • decide on a pathway that includes more specific learning in a sector of interest;
  • speak to teachers, counselors, employers or relatives involved in a skilled trade or training program;
  • research various Labour Market sources to find out where the needs are in your community; and
  • identify as an OYAP participant with the MTCU.

What's next?

A skilled trade co-op placement may become an OYAP opportunity that can lead to an apprenticeship directly after graduation or it can be used as a pre-requisite to entry into one of our Phase one apprenticeship programs held at St. Lawrence College or Loyalist College. Upon being identified as an OYAP apprentice with the MTCU, a secondary student may wish to continue studies in their sector of choice in Grade 12.

Students in Grade 12 who are continuing to work in the skilled trades can take the next step and register as an OYAP apprentice while still in secondary school. Registration is the next step in the MTCU process where the coop employer commits to signing a Registered Training Agreement allowing the hours of on-the-job training to be counted towards apprenticeship while still in secondary. Depending on each student's co-op experiences, the time spent while on the job could reduce the overall time needed to complete the apprenticeship training, which is usually three to five years to be registered as an OYAP apprentice while in secondary school, the student has to work with an employer (co-op) who is willing to sign a training contract that must be verified by the local MTCU training consultant.

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.