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Friday, May 24, 2019
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Starting an apprenticeship in Ontario is easier than you think. Learn about the apprenticeship pathway and discover tips for finding an employer sponsor.

Why start an apprenticeship? 

  • An opportunity to learn and build skills.
  • Certification in a trade, many of which are in very high demand.
  • Flexible schedule for work and training.
  • An opportunity to earn while you learn.
Did you know? One in five jobs in the next five years will be trade-related.

6 steps to starting an apprenticeship in Ontario


Learn from an instructor at Fanshawe College

1. Decide on a skilled trade

Choose from over 150 trades in Ontario across four sectors: construction, industrial, motive power and service.


Learn on the job with an apprenticeship

2. Find an employer

The Apprenticeship Network is a website dedicated to helping you choose an an apprenticeship as well as provide information about employers and more.


Automotive repair apprenticeship

3. Apply and register apprenticeship with the Ministry

To qualify:

  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Have legal permission to work in Canada (e.g. have a valid social insurance number)
  • Meet the educational requirements for your chosen trade
  • Have a sponsor in Ontario


Learn with an apprenticeship

4. Complete on-the-job training and schooling

This stage takes about 3 to 5 years. Approximately 90 percent of your time will be spent working, with 10 percent spent at school in 8-12 week blocks, depending on your trade.

Sample apprenticeship schedule:

  1. On-job training
  2. Level 1 schooling (basic)
  3. On-job training
  4. Level 2 schooling (intermediate)
  5. On-job training
  6. Level 3 schooling (advanced)

Choose an apprenticeship

5. Write your trade’s Certificate of Qualification exam

Earn a certificate of apprenticeship + Red Seal program. If you’re in a Red Seal trade, you’ll be granted the Red Seal with a 70% pass.



6. Enjoy a rewarding career as a Journeyperson

Find out what it means to be a journeyperson and apprentice here:


In high school? Develop your skills by getting started in trades with the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), ask about Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program at your school or Dual Credit programs.

Scholarships and grants for apprenticeships 

There are apprenticeship grants you can apply for:

  • Apprenticeship Scholarship – available to apprentices who had to return to get Grade 12 to start in the trades
  • Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) - $1000 for Red Seal Trades – successfully completing Level I Training
  • Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) - $1000 for Red Seal Trades – successfully completing Level II Training
  • Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG) – $2000 for Red Seal Trades who successfully complete Level IIII Training and CofQ


Photo of Carl MendoncaAbout the expert

Carl Mendonca is the associate dean of Fanshawe’s School of Transportation Technology & Apprenticeship and is responsible for the College’s apprenticeship programs. Carl has his Red Seal Certificate as a Truck and Coach Technician, is certified as a heavy Equipment Technician, is a member of the Ontario College of Trades and has a degree in mechanical engineering.