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What is Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is an on-the-job training program for people who want to pursue a fulfilling career in the skilled trades.

The vast majority (90 per cent), of apprenticeship training happens in a workplace under the supervision of skilled tradespeople; the remainder of your time is spent taking classroom instruction, usually at a post-secondary institution such as Conestoga College.

Your path to apprenticeship begins when you enter into a contract with an employer who needs a skilled tradesperson. You must be employed to begin your apprenticeship and your employer must agree to apprentice you in a specific trade. You will be earning pay while you learn as this process is an agreement between yourself, your employer and the Government of Ontario.

Usually, an apprentice applies directly to an employer, union or local apprenticing committee, however, many employers today are looking for experienced apprentices and are less willing to hire an untrained employee.

This is where Conestoga College can be helpful in getting you both the experience and the credentials you need for a successful apprenticeship.

Our Dual Credential Programs are offered for both certificates and diplomas. These programs are designed specifically for students who wish to cover a number of levels of their apprenticeship through the college curriculum.

In these programs you may also be eligible, depending on your academic standing, to take a government apprenticeship exemption test before you register with an employer. The government apprenticeship exemption tests are valid for two years and may allow you to be exempted from further levels of trade school. This has the benefit of saving you time and building your on-the-job skillset before going to work.

Conestoga has many pathways and programs to help you stand out and be seen as an asset by potential employers.

For more information about your options for apprenticeship, contact your local Employment Ontario apprenticeship office.

Next: How to Become a Registered Apprentice >>

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