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Is the Path to Apprenticeship Right for You?

Academy Canada is amongst the two largest providers of Apprenticeship training in the province.

We are proud to be one of only two accredited local trainers in each of the ten dominant trades, including Auto Body and Collision Technician, Automotive Service Technician, Cook, Construction/Industrial Electrician, Hairstylist, Insulator (Heat & Frost), Plumber, Steamfitter/Pipefitter, and Welder.

While a detailed overview can found on the Government website, Apprenticeship is best be described as a formal training system that combines on-the-job and in-school training to produce qualified and certified journeypersons. Individuals who want to work in one of the noted professions progress through a series of stages to gain experience and earn greater responsibility/credentials. The ultimate goal is to write a national certification exam that leads to Journeyperson status.

There are a couple of ways to progress through the Apprenticeship system – depending upon the level of experience you already have in the occupation. On this page we describe the process if you have minimal or no experience and are looking to “break into” the profession. The steps you’d follow are:

  1. Understand your aptitudes and career goals.
  2. Investigate each career path and select a trade you would like to enter.
  3. Apply to the program of choice at Academy Canada and gain admission into the Entry-Level program.
  4. Study hard. Most programs are approximately 9 months* with 30 hours of class/week. Most days are divided equally between classroom and shop work to reinforce learning.
  5. Graduate from the Entry Level program.
  6. Get your first job working under the supervision of a Journeyperson.
  7. Register with the Government Apprenticeship and Trades Certification Division and get a Logbook (for your hours).
  8. Track your hours in the Logbook and regularly report them to the Government Apprenticeship and Trades Certification Division.
  9. As hours accumulate you will be offered opportunities to do several 8 week Advanced Blocks of specialized training (full cost paid by government). As you complete each you will advance to a second, third or fourth year apprentice. These promotions typically come with pay increases. Number of blocks required varies by trade.
  10. Once all blocks are completed, write your Interprovincial (Journeyperson) exam. It is a national multiple-choice test that is administered by government officials.
  11. Once Interprovincial exam is passed you are a full Journeyperson and have a credential that is recognized and respected around the world. Congratulations!

*The Insulator (Heat & Frost) program is 17 weeks.

Apprenticeship Terminology

We recognize that some of the Apprenticeship terminology used can be confusing. A summary of key terms can be found below:

ATCD: Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Division of the provincial Government. It is a part of the Department of Education.

PACB: Provincial Apprenticeship and Certification Board – a government-appointed board of experts that sets apprenticeship policies, ensures advisory and examination committees are established and maintained, accredit apprenticeship programs and designate occupations for training/certification. Note: Academy Canada Director James Loder served as a PACB Director for several years.

APO: Apprenticeship Program Officer – government officials who work to support apprentices complete their program.

Apprentice: A person who works in a trade and has a written agreement with an employer and ATCD. An apprentice learns the knowledge, skills, tools and materials of the trade through on-the-job training under the supervision of a certified journeyperson of the same trade and through in-school technical training.

Certified Journeyperson: Formally certified tradespersons whose combined work experience and in-school training (if applicable) have allowed them to master all of the required skills as set by industry. A journeyperson’s certification must be verified by ATCD before they are allowed to mentor an apprentice and sign off on skills acquired on the job.

Certificate of Qualification: A Certificate of Qualification verifies that a tradesperson has mastered all of the required skills set by industry, has met the criteria for that trade and has successfully completed the Provincial/Interprovincial examination.

Post-Secondary Training Provider: A college, like Academy Canada, that is licensed and certified to offer apprenticeship training.

Entry-Level Training: Entry-level programs are offered by post-secondary training institutions (like Academy Canada) and provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge in specific trades areas. Most programs involve formal, institution-based instruction lasting approximately 9 months (although some are shorter). Entry-level students are NOT apprentices. Upon successful completion of an entry-level program, graduates who find appropriate employment may become registered apprentices. Their entry-level program will be reviewed by an APO and the hours completed during their program may be credited towards an apprenticeship.

Advanced (Block/Level) Training: Block/Level Training is a period of in-school training with an established set of hours per block/level that every registered apprentice must attend if it is a requirement of their particular trade. Block/Level training is scheduled for the apprentice by the APO once an apprentice acquires a specific number of employment hours. An applicant registering as an apprentice after completing an entry-level program (pre-employment) will receive credit for block 1/level 1 and progress to the next block/level of training. If the entry-level program (pre-employment) has not been completed upon registration as an apprentice, block 1/level 1 will have to be completed prior to the next block/level of training being arranged.

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