Crafting Careers: What You Need to Know About Accessing Apprenticeships

For literally thousands of years, skilled tradespeople have entered their chosen trade through an apprenticeship – or working closely with an experienced individual (i.e., master) in their field. This one-on-one instruction, often in a workplace setting, has long been the basis for helping newcomers develop the skills required to succeed in their chosen trade.1

The evolving apprenticeship process

But the skilled trades landscape has changed a lot over the last decade or so. With more experienced tradespeople retiring and fewer new tradespeople replacing them, it’s arguably harder than ever to find and secure an apprenticeship.

That’s where Ontario colleges can help. With many colleges offering skilled trades programs taught by experienced professionals, they’re becoming a central hub for new tradespeople looking to develop the skills – and connections – required to access an apprenticeship. And with apprenticeships harder to access, a college degree, diploma, or certificate in a skilled trades field can give you the advantage you need to convince an employer to sponsor your apprenticeship.

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at how college programs with built-in apprenticeship training can help new tradespeople enter the trade that interests them and develop the skills required to enter rewarding careers.

At the same time, we’ll help you understand how the apprenticeship process works in Ontario, including how you’ll work with the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) of Ontario to access an apprenticeship. Finally, we’ll show you the key terms you’ll need to know to start your journey towards a skilled trades career in Canada.

Chef in a kitchen cutting vegetables on a cutting board, wearing a white apron, close up on hands holding knife

Image Source: St. Clair College

The skilled trades landscape has changed a lot over the last decade.
  • 1

    Kenneth E. Hunter, Marvin Abugov, Don Ogaranko, “Apprenticeship,” The Canadian Encyclopedia