Apprenticeship: Your future starts today!

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is designed to give youth (16 and over, with at least 16 high school credits) the opportunity to learn about working in the trades and start their apprenticeship while finishing their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

This program was developed to encourage youth who enjoy a challenge, the hands on opportunity to learn about working in the trades.  This is a viable career option with a huge need, according to the Province by 2025 almost 40% of all occupations will be in the skill trades, and we will have a skilled labour shortage of 1.2 million.

Unlike a college or university program where most graduates leave school with loans to pay off, as an apprentice you will be paid while learning.  That is not to say that apprenticeships are without costs, there is an annual cost of $60 (free for OYAP students until they graduate) with the College of Trades, between $400-$600 per course for Trade School Registration (typically 2-3 courses per apprenticeship), and a fee of $150 to write your Certificate of Qualification.  However, as a result of the demand for skilled trades people in Ontario there are a number of financial incentives for apprentices offered through the government which helps to offset these costs.

Depending on the trade chosen, your apprenticeship can take from 1-5 years to complete, but while you are working on finishing your apprenticeship you will be gaining valuable on the job skills and establishing relationships in your field which can lead to opportunities going forward.  Although not all trades require an OSSD, like any other employment sector it is strongly advised and an apprentice might be overlooked without this qualification.

If this is an opportunity you might be considering please visit the OYAP website or speak with your guidance officer for steps to including this in your educational experience.