A Pathway to a Rewarding Career!
More than one third of Ontario’s certified tradespeople will be retiring within the next few years. Business and government predict serious shortages of qualified replacement workers. Shortages are already evident in a number of skilled trades.
The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program was recently introduced within the Rainbow District School Board high schools in an effort to provide senior students with an additional option to train as apprentices in the skilled trades.
What is OYAP?
OYAP is a youth apprenticeship program aimed at providing grade 11 and grade 12 students with opportunities to train as apprentices in a number of skilled occupations while completing studies toward an Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
Most important, OYAP strives to introduce senior high school students to skilled occupations in an effort to increase youth apprenticeship opportunities.
OYAP partners with employers who are committed to offering apprenticeship opportunities to students who demonstrate an aptitude and interest in skilled occupations through work experience placements.
OYAP meets the objectives of secondary school reform by providing secondary school students with a school to work transition program.
Consider the following realities:
- Apprenticeship training provides young people with access to well paying jobs that demand high levels of skills, good judgement and creativity.
- The need for skilled tradespeople will continue to increase.
- Many skilled tradespeople use their trade as a stepping stone toward careers in management while others go into business for themselves.
Why should young people consider becoming an apprentice?
OYAP can provide senior high school students with a significant head start in a skilled trade. OYAP students have the potential to secure a certificate of apprenticeship, a certificate of qualification and earning power at an early age. The national average age of an apprentice is twenty six. Through OYAP students are able to accelerate their career path by several years.
Many students from the Rainbow District School Board are officially registered as apprentices with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities at age eighteen. These students are in a position to complete their apprenticeship training and acquire journeyperson status by age twenty three.
Through OYAP students can:
- Begin a skilled trade as an apprentice
- Develop trade related competencies and collect hours toward a skilled trade
- Earn co-op credits toward a high school diploma
- Increase opportunities for employment and post secondary education
- Enrich school courses through related trade experience
- Have the potential to earn while they learn
Students who enrol in OYAP benefit in several ways while in high school.
OYAP increases a student’s options! Students can either register as apprentices or use the OYAP Program as a pathway toward a post secondary education. Regardless of their choice OYAP provides students with a win-win situation.
OYAP can make it easier for a young person to enter the skilled trades . . . at an early age!
Why should parents consider OYAP?
It takes an average of two to five years to complete an apprenticeship program. In comparison, it takes three to four years to complete a university undergraduate program and two to three years to complete a college program.
Apprenticeship training is an ‘earn while you learn’ and cost-effective third option to the traditional university or community college route. Since apprentices earn while they learn they are in a position to increase their earning power at an early age while substantially reducing education costs.
Between 80 -90 percent of apprenticeship training takes place on the job. This means about 10 - 20 percent takes place at a community college or other approved delivery agent. Currently the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities purchases seats for in-school training at little cost to the apprentice. These seats are purchased either on a block release or day release basis which means the apprentice does not incur high education costs and does not lose wages for extended periods. Graduates who have participated in the OYAP option may begin their in-school training sooner. In some cases senior high school students begin in-school training in addition to their high school program and work experience placements.
Did you know?
In the next two decades, 40 percent of new jobs will be in skilled trades and technologies. In 1998 that number was less than 20 percent.
Many more people in the skilled trades are retiring than are entering the system. This is cause for alarm. It is projected industry will experience serious skilled shortages as a result of the low numbers of young people entering the skilled trades.
According to Skills Canada, many skilled tradespeople make six-figure incomes with excellent benefits.
On average many skilled tradespeople make more than $20.00 hour and more than $40,000 annually.
Today’s skilled tradespeople are in demand, are well respected and are essential and important contributors to our economy.
Myth vs Reality!
MYTH: Skilled trades jobs are boring and repetitive.
People in skilled trades jobs work with some of the most up-to-date and sophisticated equipment available; they constantly work on new and exciting projects; they need to be smart and adaptable.
MYTH: Skilled trades jobs are low paying.
Most people who work in the skilled trades earn average or better-than-average salaries. Indeed, many make better-than-average salaries, some in excess of $100,000 a year. Many skilled trades people are entrepreneurs working for themselves with freedom that is unattainable in most fields.
MYTH: Apprenticeship training is not equal to a post secondary education.
Apprenticeship = Education. Skilled tradespeople benefit from in-school training offered at a community college as well as valuable on the job training in the workplace. The skills acquired by apprentices are always in demand. In fact, skilled trades people form the foundation of our society. Without their expertise the wheels of industry would halt.
What kinds of skilled trades are available through OYAP?
There are more than 150 skilled trades under the Apprenticeship & Certification Act and the Trades Qualification & Apprenticeship Act. Some of these include:
Trades under the Apprenticeship & Certification Act:
Alignment & Brakes Technician
Appliance Service Technician
Auto Body Repairer
Auto Service Technician
Early Childhood Educator
Electric Motor & Apparatus Rewinder
Electronic Service Technician & Repairer
Fitter Structural Steel Plate Worker
Hardware Information Technology Support Analyst
Heavy Duty Equipment Technician
Help Desk Information Technology Support Analyst
Industrial Mechanic Millwright
Network Information Technology Support Analyst
Network Cabling Specialist
Retail Meat Cutter
Small Engine Technician
Truck & Coach Technician
Welder Fitter/ Welder Operator
Trades under the Trades Qualification & Apprenticeship Act:
Carpenter - General Plumber
Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic
Brick & Stone Mason
Sheet Metal Worker
Students may be considered for OYAP if they are at least 16 years of age, in grade 11 or 12 and serious about learning a skilled trade.
How do students get involved?
Interested students are asked to meet with their guidance counsellor. All OYAP students must be registered with the cooperative education program to access the OYAP option. Each applicant is interviewed by the cooperative education teacher and employer. Those admitted to the program must follow cooperative education course requirements during their half day or full day work experience placements.
For more information:
Please call Sharon Orlak, at 688 - 0888 or email
or contact your high school’s guidance counsellor or cooperative education teacher.
OYAP is funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and meets Ministry of Education requirements.