Once you’ve identified the trade you want to work in, gaining an apprenticeship can be an effective way to enter the workforce.
Websites like apprenticetrades.ca, run by the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, can help match apprentices to companies that will take them on. Community colleges that feature apprenticeships offer a similar service. An apprentice generally earns a percentage of a regular journeyperson’s rate and it rises with each level the apprentice completes in the program. The apprentice’s responsibility is to learn on the job, usually while continuing in-school training.
Rules, regulations and available funding change by the province and territory, so students should check with the governing body in their area to see what’s required.
The federal government offers up to $4,000 in funding to Red Seal trade apprentices (red-seal.ca). Applicants must be a registered apprentice in a Red Seal trade to get the money.
The cash comes through the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and the Apprenticeship Completion Grant, says spokeswoman Anna Kroupoderova. AIG is a taxable cash grant of $1,000 per year or level, and it’s good for up to $2,000 per person. The extra $2,000 comes when apprentices complete their training and get their certification. There’s also an up to $500 tax deduction for tradespeople buying tools that cost more than $1,000.
Even without funding and tax breaks, apprenticeship is a low-cost route to work when compared to other forms of post-secondary training, Kroupoderova says. It also gives workers a chance to earn money while they complete their education on the job.
The in-school technical training portion of apprenticeship is often a six to eight week session at a technical institute, community college or training centre. Some programs offer the in-school technical training sessions in other formats, such as weekend or evening classes or distance learning.