While some people head to university for good career prospects, there is another way to make a good living in Canada without having to rack up school debt. If you're someone who likes to get their hands dirty then it may be time to start exploring your options working in a skilled trade.
Right now, Ontario is looking to send 1,200 Ontarians into apprenticeship programs absolutely free because the province is in need of more specialized workers. Tradespeople are workers who specialize in a particular field that requires work experience, on-the-job training, and some formal education.
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Today, Ontario's applications for skilled trade worker apprenticeships opened and they're investing $13.2 million dollars to provide Canadians with a free education. The need for workers also means that you'll be entering into a field that is actively hiring.
Luckily, this program also benefits Canadians from all walks of life, including newcomers to Canada, high-school students or those who left before finishing high school, and co-op programs with those attending college. That means no matter where you're at right now there is a program that will be willing to work with you.
Depending on your prerequisites, you're eligible to apply to one of the three following programs as of Monday, November 5th:
- Pre-Apprenticeship Training
- Lasts up to one year with an additional work placement for eight to 12 weeks. Also completely covers the costs of textbooks, equipment and tools.
- Provides safety training for skilled trades, improvement to academic skills, and basic level apprenticeship in-school training.
- Those who qualify simply have to be graduated from or left before completing high school, plus Indigenous peoples, newcomers to Canada, women, Francophone peoples, or at-risk youth.
- Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program
- Co-op credits in place of classes for students who are in Grade 11 and 12 in high school to gain experience in a skilled trade.
- Specialty programs only offer apprenticeships in hairstyling, automotive service technician, and general carpenter.
- Those who qualify must be over 16-years of age and enrolled full time in school, having already completed 16 credits.
- Co-op Diploma Apprenticeship Program
- This co-op program is designed to help college students complete their trade certification as well as diploma by graduation.
- Provides specialty training in a college program of your choosing, while also getting hands-on experience in the job as part of your education.
- To qualify for this program you must be attending a college program that offers the Co-op Diploma Program to see how you qualify for an individual school and the trade of your interest
Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, said in a statement that "These programs get people ready for a rich and rewarding education and career in the skilled trades, by making them ready to work as apprentices." She continued by stating that "Ontario's government is making sure people can build better futures for themselves and for our province."
If you've been thinking about your next steps or even making a change in your current career path, now is the perfect time to pursue a different interest and make moves towards a better life. There are tons of avenues to follow including careers in construction, industry work, medical fields and even cosmetology.
Considering that this opportunity comes with no additional costs now is the time to consider getting your hands dirty and achieving the career you've always wanted. The Government of Ontario did state in their release that programs selected to provide training will be notified in January 2019 for projects to start in 2019.