Doing an Apprentice in Canada?: 6 Easy Steps for You

Starting a new career in Canada is no small task, especially if you are a skilled trade worker. While you may not have to wait on a government job or be an employee in a private company, you still need to meet certain parameters to become a skilled worker in Canada. One such requirement is that you need to complete an apprenticeship. Landing an apprenticeship in Canada is no walk in the park either. To become a master in a trade, you have to undergo years of training, education, and hard work before you are even legally eligible to work.

This can be discouraging at times, but not to worry! Given that there is a steady demand for skilled workers in Canada, you can easily find a job after your apprenticeship. Moreover, we are here to make things one step easier for you. The process of landing an apprenticeship in Canada can be a time-consuming affair, with lots of steps. In this blog, we have put together everything you need to know about the process. We will explore what an apprenticeship in Canada entails, how to get it, and the steps in between.

What Defines an Apprentice?

An apprentice is someone who has undertaken a line of study and work that will give them the necessary experience to do a particular job. This typically means that they work and study under someone who is already an experienced industry professional. As per the Oxford dictionary, an apprenticeship is defined as “A person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer, having agreed to work for a fixed period at low wages.”

In Canada, this can apply to a wide range of vocational activities that allow said apprentices to gain a legal license to practice said occupation. The majority of apprenticeships are for vocations such as for electricians, millwrights, construction workers, engineers, and so on.

Duties of an Apprentice in Canada

Generally speaking, the list of duties and responsibilities that come with apprenticeships in Canada will vary depending on the line of work. However, certain duties are commonplace across the board, according to the website ‘WorkStudyVisa’. To start, apprentices need to attend workshops and participate in other learning activities. They also need to learn and apply safety and health procedures. Alongside work, you will also need to study for tests, exams, and other similar evaluation metrics.

As an apprentice, you will need to travel from and to worksites regularly, attend meetings, keep a log of the things you did and learned, and of course, build a network within the industry.

“Anyone who keeps learning stays young. – Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company

Landing an Apprenticeship in Canada

6 Steps to Landing an Apprenticeship in Canada

Now, we get to the meat of the problem. So, you want to complete an apprenticeship in Canada. Although the path can seem daunting and long, you can rest easy knowing that these few steps can give you an added edge on your path. With these steps, you can become a certified tradesperson in Canada, and what’s more, you can carry this license anywhere in the world!

Step #1: Settle on Your Trade

They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Well, here is yours. Before attempting any apprenticeship, you need to pick which trade you want to go into. Find a trade that interests you and one that you can see yourself doing for a long, long time. As an apprentice you will have to spend a solid four to five years just training, then you have the rest of your career to think about. So, make this decision count!

Step #2: Get All Your General Requirements Lined up

Canada, while ripe with opportunities for aspiring tradespersons, also has regulations to help moderate the trades. This means that you need to meet some basic requirements to become an apprentice. For one, you need a high school diploma or GED. You also need to be in good physical health as well as possess solid hand-eye coordination, especially as a skilled worker. 

It is recommended that you have a driver’s license and a vehicle to travel to and from work locations. In the abstract, you need to have strong interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills, and of course, a passion for learning.

“Learning never exhausts the mind. – Leonardo Da Vinci, Polymath

Step #3: Find Your Employer

Now, we get to the actual apprenticeship. You need to find an employer who can give you on-the-job training. They also need to pay you a minimum wage, as it is illegal for them to put you to work with no pay in most cases. Make sure that you pick someone flexible as you will need to attend classes on the side to get your educational credits if you want to be certified.

Finding the right employer for your apprenticeship

Step #4: Register Your Training Agreements.

This is an important part of the process. You need to get your training agreement registered with the territorial or provincial apprenticeship authority.

Step #5: Get Yourself Some Financial Aid

One of the perks of undertaking an apprenticeship in Canada, you are eligible to get financial aid. You will be given an apprentice incentive Grant at the beginning of the program as well as one when you complete it. Canada also offers special incentives and grants to women who are undertaking an apprenticeship in Canada.

According to ‘WorkStudyVisa’, you will be granted an initial $2,000 to help you cover the cost to help you continue your apprenticeship journey. Given that women are under-represented in the industry, the Canadian government allocated $6,000 to women whilst they continue their careers in their respective ‘Red Seal Trade’. The website also states that you will be offered an additional $2,000 at the end of the training program.

“Apprenticeship is one of the dearest roles of childhood, not just watching Dad or Mother, but being taught a hands-on trade. – Carol Bly, American Author

Step #6: Get Certified

As stated earlier, the journey will be a long one, generally around four to five years of classroom studies and on-the-job training. However, once you put in the work and the prerequisite hours, you can write the exam or test-equivalent for your trade. Then, it’s just a matter of passing the evaluation and getting your journeyperson certificate. This certificate will be your ‘ticket’ or ‘certificate of qualification’.

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