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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.
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If you are a person who has come to Canada from another country and have the desire to work in the skilled trades, there are excellent resources for you to investigate to assist you in making an informed decision.
Working In Canada – is a comprehensive source of information on regulated trades and professions in Canada http://www.workingincanada.gc.ca/home-eng.do?lang=
Settlement.org will provide newcomers with information and resources about employment, education and housing that will help them to settle in Ontario. http://www.settlement.org/
These Government of Ontario websites includes information on where to get help, internships, evaluating your educational credentials, how to get licensed and also, resources to assist you with English as a second language. http://www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/english/workinghttp://www.ontarioimmigration.ca/english/geo.asp
Canadian Foundation for Economic Education – Newcomers to Canada is a comprehensive website which will provide you with links to key agencies and organizations, organizations that help newcomers to Canada, credential assessment organizations, education and more http://www.cfeedayplanner.com/
Foreign trained tradespersons – there’s a place for you!
If you’re a tradesperson already trained in the skilled trades, in another country, you may be able to obtain recognition of your trade qualifications and experience. This link outlines the requirements.
To learn more, go to: Skills for Change, a service organization working to develop strategies to assist foreign http://www.skillsforchange.org/
Canadian Information Centre for International Credentialshttp://www.cicic.ca/professions/professions-en.asp
Immigrating to Canada as a Skilled Workerhttp://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/index.asp
World Education Serviceswww.wes.org/ca/ (416) 972-0070 or toll-free 1-866-343-0070 World Education Services is recognized and funded, in part, by the Government of Ontario.
International Credentials Assessment Service (ICAS) of Canadawww.icascanada.ca
Ontario AgriCentre Toll Free in Canada: 1-800-321-6021
Bridge Training for Skilled Immigrants: The Bridge Training program supports the development and implementation of sustainable projects that expedite licensing and accreditation of qualified immigrants for employment in strategic skills areas. Projects are being developed, and some are already underway, in the construction and precision machining and tooling trades sectors.
For more information call Employment Ontario at 1-800-387-5656 or (416) 326-5656 visit: http://www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/english/working/experience/index.shtml#Other