Author Archives: Carrie Wakeford

The Third Apprenticeship Connection Newsletter

Issue #3 of The Apprenticeship Connection newsletter has been published.

This newsletter includes great articles about the highest paying trades in Canada, information about apprenticeships and newcomers, information about Canadian Armed Forces veterans applying their skills in construction and information about Skilled Trades Ontario and their new website.  This newsletter also shared the LOCS blog post “Math and the Skilled Trades“.  Finally you will find information about Perfectio a magazine by the Coalition ontarienne de formation des adultes (COFA).  

Every issue of The Apprenticeship Connection ends with a great list of resource links.

If you would like access to past issues you can find them at:

Issue #1: The Apprenticeship Connection post.
Issue #2: The Second Apprenticeship Connection post.

You are welcome to share this newsletter with anyone who may be interested.  

If you would like more information about how adult training programs in Ontario supports the skilled trades, contact Carrie at or call (705) 313-4385.


 

Computer Skills for Post Secondary Prep

Core Skills

computer with book shelvesFor anyone entering a post-secondary program, including the skilled trades, it is important to have some core computer skills before starting. 

Gaining computer skills before entering a diploma, certificate or apprenticeship program, will mean all in-class time can be  focused on learning the content of the program.  Trying to learn computer skills at the same time as completing course work can be overwhelming.  It can become a barrier to success.  Adult training programs can help to remove this barrier.

The computer skills listed below can be used as a checklist.  Depending on the program, it may not be necessary to have all of these skills, but these are the most common.  Post-secondary programs often provide a list of the computer skills needed.  Adult training programs will customize training based on the goals of each individual. 

Contact one of the adult training programs to learn about eligibility and the options for gaining the computer skills needed for success in post-secondary programs. 

Checklist Below:

Hardware 

Hardware you will want to be familiar with:

  • Computer (desktop or laptop)
  • Keyboard and Mouse
  • Printer
  • Modem
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets

Operating Systems

Woman sitting next to a brick wall with a laptopThis is the software that runs your computer – we will focus on the Windows operating system because it is the most common.

  • Turn a computer on
    • This may require you to log on with a password
  • Move around Windows
    • Use the start button to access settings and apps
    • Use the taskbar
    • Open the Recycle Bin
    • Find programs
    • Find and use desktop icons – including shortcuts to programs
    • Run more than one program
    • Close programs
    • Log off
  • Work Safely
      • Download and use virus and malware programs
      • Maintain privacy
      • Understand risks online

File Management

  • Create, move, rename and delete folders and files
  • Understand file extensions e.g., .pdf (Portable Document Format), .xls (Excel file) and .docx (Word File)
  • Use USB flash drives
  • Use cloud storage – understand the cloud
  • Find documents on a computer
  • Upload a document
  • Scan a document
  • Save a document as a PDF

Software/Apps

Word Processing

  • Create and save documents using software such as Microsoft (MS) Word or Google Docs
  • Name and file documents
  • Enter content (typing)
  • Use basic formatting e.g., bold, underline, capitalization, changing font and font size, cut and paste content and adjusting spacing
  • Use spell check
  • Print files, including previewing and adjusting settings
  • Save and close files
  • Find and open files and make changes to the content and resave

Spreadsheets

  • Create and save spreadsheets using software such as Microsoft (MS) Excel or Google Sheets
  • Enter content into a worksheet
  • Enter basic formulas
  • Format cells
  • Name worksheets
  • Print worksheets, including preview and adjusting settings
  • Save and close files
  • Find and open files and make changes and resave

Email

  • Create an email account
  • Use email software e.g., gmail or Outlook to send and receive mail
  • Forward mail e.g., to your phone
  • Type and send messages
  • Manage your mail e.g., respond, forward, save, file and delete email
  • Use calendars
  • Manage safety, e.g., identify email scams
  • Attach a document, file or picture

Internet

  • Access the Internet using an Internet Browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Edge
  • Search for a website using Google Search and/or Bing
  • Bookmark a site
  • Know how to assess content – is it Canadian, is it legitimate?
  • Open more than one tab
  • Copy and paste content
  • Understand URLs
  • Refresh a page
  • Manage safety and security
  • Access social media – e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

PowerPoint

Note: you will only need these skills if you are required to make presentations.

  • Create and edit slide presentations
  • Select a theme (the look of the presentation)
  • Adding content and images

Online Learning

  • Log into a Learning Management System such as D2L
  • Find and download files
  • Upload assignments
  • Communicate with instructors and other students
  • Participate in real time webinars and meetings – using programs such as Zoom
  • person holding tabletComplete online assignments
  • Upload assignments
  • Complete online quizzes
  • Post comments

Phones and Tablets

  • Send a text
  • Download and install apps
  • Access email
  • Search the Internet

On the Job

To learn more about the computer skills needed for the trades, visit the post Computers and the Skilled Trades and Digital Skills in the Skilled Trades.

It is also important to note that in a 2022 survey of employers many said that employees and new hires require digital training.  The skills employers are looking for include:

51% said Software/Apps (e.g., Word, Excel, Calendars, Accounting, GPS, Google Docs/Forms).

40% said File Management, Sharing and Collaborating (e.g., Folders, Files, Attachments, Permissions, Dropbox).

30% said Hardware (e.g., Computer/Keyboard, Phone, Scanners, Point-of-Sale).

For the full list of digital literacy needs identified by employers visit page 14 of the 2022 EmployerOne Survey.


To Learn More

For more information about how you can gain these skills for work or ongoing education or training, contact one of the adult training programs in your area or contact Carrie at LOCS – or 705 313-4385.


 

Apprenticeship and the Skilled Trades

Through the Lens of Literacy and Basic Skills

To address the developing skilled trades crisis, a crisis that has been created by “pending retirements, a current shortage of certified tradespeople and low Apprenticeship completion rates”, communities will need to work together to support those interested in a career in the skilled trades.  This means creating a support system that provides individuals with every opportunity to be successful.  

This report highlights the key role Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) plays in supporting individuals, as well as the role LBS has in the larger apprenticeship network.  LBS works with community partners, including trainers and employers, to support all parts of the apprenticeship system.  

Supporting Individuals

It is important that communities support people entering the skilled trades from high school and through immigration.  It is also important that we have supports in place for individuals who:

  • have been out of school a while and are reentering the workforce
  • are currently working in other positions, but would like to enter the trades
  • are working in a skilled trade, but are at risk of leaving 
  • have left the trades, but would consider returning
  • are not considering the trades because of barriers (this includes access for underrepresented groups)

As this report highlights, LBS programs play a critical role in supporting the success of individuals in each of these situations.  

This group makes up a significant pool of workers who have the potential to help communities address the skilled trades crisis.  For many, success in the skilled trades will start with support offered by LBS programs. 

LBS Supports

This report outlines the LBS support available, which includes “foundational and advanced math, interpersonal and soft skills, writing, communication, and digital skills”.  Adult training programs also prepare learners for the in-class portion of their Apprenticeship, as well as developing study and test taking skills, which includes preparing to write their Certificate of Qualification (C of Q).  LBS can also help individuals obtain the academic requirements they need to enter the trade they are pursuing (e.g., Grade 12 and ACE).  Literacy and Basic Skills programs support learners “as they work towards achieving the levels of education needed by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, employers, and unions.”

This report also highlights something “Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) practitioners have long recognized that having a high school diploma or equivalent doesn’t necessarily mean that your skills are at a Grade 12 level – and that not having a high school diploma doesn’t mean you are unskilled.”  

LBS can meet the needs of adult learners by offering short-term, targeted programs customized to the needs of their career goal.  LBS programs are flexible, self-paced and teacher supported.  One-to-one tutoring is also available.  Programs are also offered through partnerships with employers and pre-apprenticeship programs.

This research also identified some of the non-academic barriers people face.  Support for this group may include learning about the options in the trades so they can make a decision, finding the resources to help access the apprenticeship system and funding options, as well as developing the skills to manage stress, work, school and life responsibilities.  LBS has a reputation for being able to access their network of community partners, including Employment Services, to find support for learners.  

Going Forward

LBS will continue supporting individual apprentices and highlighting our role as a key partner in strengthening a community wide response to building a path to apprenticeship that is well supported and seamless.


This report was released March 2022.  It was researched and written by Community Literacy Ontario in partnership with Laubach Literacy Ontario (LLO), The Ontario Association of Adult and Continuing Education School Board Administrators (CESBA) and the College Sector Committee for Adult Upgrading (CSC).  Full Report: Apprenticeship and the Skilled Trades 


 

Labour Market Information – Skilled Trades

man with orange vest looking at building siteLiteracy Ontario Central South (LOCS) is lucky to have two planning boards in our region, the Centre for Workforce Development (CFWD) and the Workforce Development Board (WDB).

Both organizations can provide you with current, local Labour Market Information (LMI), including hiring demands, skill requirements and/or wages for any career you are considering, including a skilled trade.

For example, if you are thinking about entering a skilled trade, you can contact them to find out what the job demand is for that specific trade in your region.

LMI Help Desks:   

  • If you are interested in working in City of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton, Northumberland or Peterborough, contact the LMI Help Desk at the WDB to ask for information about the labour market. 
  • If you are interested in working in Hastings, contact the LMI Help Desk at the CFWD to ask for information about the labour market.

In-Demand Trades

Over the years the planning boards in our area have tracked and documented in-demand trades.  This list has included Automotive, Electrician, Truck and Coach Technician, Hairstylist and Plumber.  We have also seen a demand for Truck Drivers, Early Childhood Educators (ECE), Cooks, Bakers, Carpenters, Heavy Equipment Operators, Automotive Service Technicians, Electricians, Millwrights, Heavy Equipment Mechanics, and Construction Trades Helpers, Labourers.

If any of these trades interest you, contact the LMI Help Desk at either the CFWD (Hastings) or the WDB (City of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton, Northumberland and Peterborough) to ask them for the most up-to-date Labour Market information. 

Edge Factor Videos

You can also learn about careers by watching Edge Factor videos developed in partnership with the planning boards:

This is a direct link to the manufacturing, construction, tourism, healthcare and agriculture videos made in our region: Local Virtual Workplace Experience Videos.  

Other Career Options

The CFWD and the WDB are not limited to answering questions about skilled trades.  They can answer your labour market questions about any job.  

You can also visit their websites for information:

The Centre for Workforce Development (CFWD)

The Workforce Development Board (WDB)

You can also contact your local employment services office for help making a career decision.


 

Skills Ontario App

Thinking about entering a skilled trade? 

young woman in red shirt with cell phoneThe new Skills Ontario App is a good place to start. 

It is free, easy to download and easy to use.  It includes a Popular Careers section where you get examples of jobs such as Web Designer, Chef, Baker, Computer Aided Drafting and 3D Digital Game Artist.  You will also find links to events and links to other services.  

Download the App from the Skills Ontario site.

The Quiz

This app includes a quiz.  When you finish answering the questions in this short quiz, you will get a list of careers in the trades that are the best match for you, based on your answers. 

You are also provided with information about the pay range as well as a brief job description, job responsibilities, information about where people in this trade work and the education required to work in these trades.

This quiz is a great starting point for anyone thinking about a career in the trades.

Next Step

Young man with cell phoneYour next step may be doing a skills assessment or further career research.

Our adult training programs can help by offering you an in-depth assessment. Contact us if you are interested in learning more about the skills you have that you will bring to a skilled trade.

There may also be skills you want to develop further before starting your training or registering as an apprentice.  For example, you can contact us if you would like to learn about how to use technology such as apps.  To learn more about the computer training that will help you prepare to work in the trades, visit our ‘Computers and the Skilled Trades‘ post. 

You may also want to take the results of your Skills Ontario quiz to your local employment services office where you can also discuss and explore your options further.

What is Skills Ontario?

Skills Ontario is an organization that has been promoting skilled trades and technologies in Ontario for over 30 years.

Their mission is “to champion and stimulate the development of world-class technological and employability skills in Ontario youth.”  They are “building Ontario’s skilled trades and technologies workforce.”  They want to “enable and empower all youth, including women and Indigenous youth, to consider a career in the skilled trades and technologies.”  Learn more at the Skills Ontario website.

Note: Although the focus is Ontario Youth (up to age 29), anyone can use this app and the information and resources on their website.

If you would like more information about next steps, contact an adult training program in your area.  You can also reach out to Carrie with your questions: .


 

Computers and the Skilled Trades

hands holding a tabletThere isn’t a job that hasn’t been touched in some way by digital technology, and this includes the skilled trades. The type and level of computer skills needed will vary depending on the trade, however, it is safe to say at the very least, basic computer skills are necessary.

The Ontario Government offers a way to search job profiles.  Enter a job you are interested in and open the profile.  These profiles are full of great information. 

If you select the heading “In Demand Skills and Knowledge” you will find a list of skills needed for success in the job.  It is common to find Computer Literacy listed in the ‘Foundational’ column for most jobs.  You will also find a basic list of the software commonly used on the job.  Below is an example of the skills section of the profile for Welders and Related Machine Operators

List of skills for welding

Skills needed by Welders and Related Machine Operators

Training Programs

Adult training programs prepare people for success at work and in any ongoing education or training programs they take.  This training includes computer training for people who are already registered as an apprentice or those thinking about starting an apprenticeship. 

Computers and Software

Adult training programs can help you develop the computer skills you need for success in a college program.  If you search for college level programs online, you will find computer and software skills are often listed. For example:

  • the Heavy Equipment Operator at Fleming lists Computer Skills as being important for students in this program.  They also list the technology required: “Students are required to have their own computer, Internet access, webcam and microphone.”  It is safe to assume that this hardware is needed to attend online classes.
  • the Welding program at Loyalist has Computer Applications as a first semester course.  The computer applications course includes “Outlook (email), PowerPoint, Word and Excel.” 

Online Learning

Online learning is becoming increasingly common in the trades.  For example, at least part of most college courses are offered online.  Adult training programs can help you prepare for success in taking computer-based training.  This may include:

  • using PDFs, videos and online documents
  • keyboarding, creating online accounts, logging in and moving around a course, uploading assignments, posting comments, asking questions and completing online tests and quizzes.
  • using video conferencing software to attend class.  

Communication

At work and in class you will likely be required to use technology to communicate with others. Our programs can help you develop these online communication skills.  This includes:

  • using smartphones, tablets and computers to send emails and texts to instructors, other students, co-workers, supervisors, customers and suppliers.  

Research

At work and in class you will need to be able to use the Internet and Search Engines to research information and resources.  In our programs you will have the opportunity to develop your online research skills.  This includes:

  • finding things such as how-to documentation, videos, manuals and information about products and services using websites, blogs, discussion forums and social media.

Apps

Our programs can also provide you with support as you develop your skills downloading and using applications (apps).  Apps are common in the trades.  Some apps are designed specifically for a trade or a company.  Other apps are general and can be used by people in any trade.  This may include using apps for:

  • mapping, for calculating, converting and measuring, for estimating, for logging/tracking hours, for ordering, managing projects, managing documents and taking notes, as well as for tool tracking and planning.

Speaking of apps: Visit our blog post about the Skills Ontario App that will help you learn about careers in the trades.

Virtual Reality

It is helpful to have experience using Virtual Reality since many trades are now using Virtual Reality Simulations, as well as Augmented Reality to provide training.  Many employment service organizations have a Virtual Reality option available to anyone interested in a career in the trades.  Virtual Reality is a great way to experience a trade before making a career decision.  To see some Virtual Reality Simulation options for the trades, visit CareerLabsVR.  To learn more about how you can book a Virtual Reality experience, contact an employment services office in your area.  

Computers in the Trades – Some Examples

In addition to software, online communication, research, apps and online learning, there are other computer skills needed in the trades.  We have provided a few examples below.  

The list below represent some of the in-demand careers in the trades in the LOCS area.  We have used labour market information from the Centre for Workforce Development and the Workforce Development Board. For a detailed list of in demand trades, visit our Labour Market Information post.

Beside each occupation there is a number.  You can click on this number to learn more about the career at the National Occupational Classification site. 

  • “The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is Canada’s national system for describing occupations.  You can search the NOC to find where an occupation is classified or to learn about its main duties, educational requirements”. 
  • The NOC is currently moving from a four to a five-digit code.  You may find the four-digit code still used in some places. 

Bakers (63202)
Calculators, Point-Of-Sale systems, spreadsheets (for planning and ordering).  There is also software to help with ingredient calculations and for managing costs.

Carpenters (72310)
Calculators, word processing, spreadsheets, billing and accounting software, estimating software and computer-controlled layout equipment (measuring tools).

Cooks (63200)
Calculators, spreadsheets, word processing, database, digitally controlled kitchen equipment, Enterprise Digital Assistant and restaurant management software.

Heavy Equipment Operators (73400)
Calculators, GPS, electronic scales, word processing, spreadsheets, database and laser grade control systems, displays and systems-monitoring controls.

Industrial Electricians (72201)
Spreadsheets, database, graphics software, project management software, handheld electrical equipment for electrical readings.  They also install and service ethernet and process control systems.

Plumbers (72300)
Calculators, word processing, database, spreadsheets, accounting software, CAD – Computer Aided Design, online plumbing software and project management software.

Transport Truck Drivers (73300)
Calculators, GPS, database, fleet tracking/management software and handheld electronic logbooks.

Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanic (72401)
Calculators, database, diagnostic equipment and handheld devices.

Construction Trades Helpers and Labourers (75110)
Calculators, database, digital multimeters and topographical information.

Electronic Service Technicians (22311)
Calculators, word processing, spreadsheets, database, load and configure software, programs for simulation purposes, diagnostic tools – oscilloscopes, application specific measurement and diagnostic software and apps to run diagnostic tests.

Hairstylists and Barbers (63210)
Calculators, Point-of-Sale systems, digital cameras, database, salon management software, accounting software and industry apps.


If you would like more information about how you can develop the computer skills you will need for success in an apprenticeship, contact an adult training centre in your area or reach out to Carrie Wakeford or at (705) 313-4383.

The Second Apprenticeship Connection

The Apprenticeship Connection green logo

Black and white image of work bootsIssue #2 of The Apprenticeship Connection newsletter is now available. 

This newsletter includes information about apprenticeship in Ontario.  It explores how Ontario’s adult training and skills development organizations support individual apprentices and the broader skilled trades community.  This issue focuses on apprenticeship training, including stories of successful partnerships.

Feel free to forward this newsletter to others who might be interested.  

Issue #1 is available in The Apprenticeship Connection post.

If you would like more information about how Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) services play a critical role in the apprenticeship system, contact Carrie at or call (705) 313-4385.


 

Entering a Skilled Trade

man working on a carAdult Training and Skills Development organizations offer programs that help people prepare to “hit the ground running” when they register for an apprenticeship. 

We also offer programs to current apprentices who may need some support through their training.  We can even help people prepare to write the Certificate of Qualification (C of Q).

Free, personalized training that you can start right away, both online or in person – what could be easier?

Pre-Apprenticeship – Where to Start

Whether you want training or a refresher, we can design pre-apprenticeship training for you so you are ready to complete your apprenticeship successfully. 

We can help you identify the strengths you already have for the trade you want to work in. 

We can also help you identify any areas you may want to upgrade or refresh before starting out in a trade. 

Some trades even have a ‘trade specific’ assessment.  This will help you see what is needed for success in the trade you are thinking about entering.

Training Options

Computer Skills: You may be interested in gaining computer skills so you are ready to do the in-class part of your training.  You may be interested in learning to use tablets that many employers will ask you to use on the job.  You might be interested in learning about apps since many trades use apps now.  See our post Computers and the Skilled Trades.

Communication: You might be thinking about building on the communication skills you will need for success both in class and on the job. 

Math: Many trades rely on various levels of math.  If it has been a while since you have taken a math course, perhaps a refresher will help sharpen your skills so trades specific math will be less of a challenge.  See our post Math and the Skilled Trades.

Soft Skills: Employers tell us they want employees with skills like problem solving, time management, teamwork, organization and customer service.  We can help you sharpen these skills so you can add them to your resume.  This will help you catch the attention of an employer.

You will also gain strategies that will help you handle the challenging tasks you may face in class and on the job.

Whatever it is you need to prepare for success in the skilled trades, we can support you in gaining the base skills you will need.  

For Current Apprentices

Adult Training and Skills Development organizations also help people who are currently working in a trade or registered as an apprentice but need a bit of extra support in areas such as math, communication, computer skills or soft skills. 

As mentioned, we can also help you prepare to write your Certificate of Qualification (CofQ).

Who to Contact?

For more information you can contact any of the programs in your area.

City of Kawartha Lakes Programs
Haliburton Programs
Hastings Programs
Northumberland Programs
Peterborough Programs

You can also download a flyer:

KAWARTHA LAKES Flyer
HALIBURTON Flyer
HASTINGS Flyer
NORTHUMBERLAND Flyer
PETERBOROUGH Flyer

If you would like more information contact Carrie at or call (705) 313-4385.


 

Support Ontario Youth

Breaking barriers and fulfilling a need: How Support Ontario Youth (SOY) matches qualified apprentices with employers in the trades sector

This charity is de-stigmatizing what it means to work in a trade and is helping a high-demand industry find much-needed employees.

Working in the trades can be both fulfilling and financially rewarding, but there’s still plenty of work to be done when it comes to dismantling the stigma that this career path is an inferior choice.

It’s something that Support Ontario Youth (SOY), a charity that matches employers with qualified apprentices, aims to change.

“Decades ago, skilled trades were not promoted as a viable career option and was considered a less significant educational pathway. High school students believed that if they could not get into university, then trades were their only option,” explains Glenda Rahn, Program Manager with Support Ontario Youth.

“It has taken the re-educating of some parents, high school guidance counselors and teachers, so that they can better understand the educational pathway of an apprenticeship and how to promote it as a viable career choice that’s equal to, or better, than a university and/or college education. Post-secondary education is usually what people think of when planning to secure a career that pays well and provides purpose in life. Well, we say apprenticeship is also an excellent educational choice too.”

The other misconception SOY is trying to change is that only post-secondary graduates can become apprentices. Rahn says anyone can apply, old or young, even high school graduates. “At the high school level, there’s a lot of work to be done to dismantle the trades stigma. I believe elementary schools should be educating young kids in the many benefits of working in the skilled trades. To have a career where you can work with your hands, think on your feet, problem-solve, proudly build, create and stay physically fit is very rewarding,” she says.

Industry supports

Support Ontario Youth was developed in 2016 by the Ontario Electrical League (an association for electrical contractors) as a way to fill the high demand for apprentices and to be able to support them throughout their apprenticeship journey.

Starting out with 30–40 employers and apprentices in the electrical industry (309A), the organization has since grown to over 150 progressive-employers and more than 200 quality skilled-trades apprentices. SOY has since added plumbing (306A), millwright (433A), residential air conditioning mechanic (313D) and low-rise sheet metal (308R) with a focus on the construction and industrial sectors.

Staff at SOY have also grown from three to 15. This has allowed them to not only mentor and place more apprentices but also partner with organizations whose focus includes supporting underrepresented groups to succeed in the trades. These partnerships also allow SOY to develop a really strong wrap-around support system and ensure candidates are thoroughly supported, mentored and/or partnered with the right organization to help them succeed on their path.

How SOY supports women

SOY has a strong emphasis on making trades accessible and enticing to new Canadians and women. “It’s important that we access all resources and supports that are available to young women because women working in the trades do experience more barriers with finding employment. Working in a male-dominated profession and learning to develop a “thick skin” to finish their apprenticeship is only one of the realities that women have to address to succeed,” says Rahn.

“We recently worked with Build a Dream, an organization that delivers programs to encourage female students to explore careers where women are underrepresented. A few of our apprentices were able to receive a toolkit from them to help support their career. These are the connections and resources that need to come together to continually support apprentices in the trades.”

How SOY supports employers

Ontario is currently facing a labour shortage in the skilled trades. The Ontario government has pledged $90 million over the next three years to increase the appeal and awareness of careers in the trades, provide more funding for an apprenticeship program and provide increased benefits for employers.

According to a report from apprenticeship youth advisors, there were approximately 200,000 unfilled trade jobs in the province in 2019. The government predicts by 2025, as many as one in five jobs will be in the skilled trades, with a shortfall of 100,000 construction workers over the next decade.

SOY is committed to helping address this shortfall by matching high-quality candidates with small to medium-sized employers. They simplify the hiring process by taking care of the recruiting, registering, paperwork and screening for

  • 309A Construction & Maintenance Electrician
  • 306A Plumber
  • 313D Residential Air Conditioning Mechanic
  • 308RLow-rise Sheet metal
  • 433A Industrial Millwright Mechanic

Approval to add 442A Industrial Electrician is pending. SOY is working with other industry associations to continue expanding into more trades in the future based on employer support and industry demand.

SOY acts as a one-stop-shop for employers and any supports they need when hiring and training an apprentice. “Part of our role is to support employers who want to hire, but don’t know where to start. We want them to understand that they’re a key part of this apprenticeship system and if there is a hurdle or barrier for them, any, we want to help them overcome it. This saves an employer a lot of time, money and energy when they’re trying to run a business,” says Rahn.

Services and supports include:

  1. Recruitment: With strict pre-screening practices, employers can feel confident they are receiving candidates who have the necessary skills, training and personality for the job.
  2. Access to funding: SOY helps employers by making them aware of funding initiatives from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, as well as understanding and accessing federal initiatives.
  3. Group sponsorship: SOY eases labour management by being a group sponsor. This means SOY holds the registered training agreement for the apprentice, so when an apprentice goes back to school, SOY can find another apprentice for the employer, if needed. This allows for labour mobility and allows them to help the employer keep their business running efficiently.
  4. Retention Support: SOY, in collaboration with each employer, can also offer an Employment Insurance (EI) top-up for their apprentices when they are back in school.

“One of the barriers to completion can be that apprentices don’t financially plan and prepare for the extra costs of going back to school. An apprentice should be budgeting between $1,200 – $1,500 (more if they have “adult bills” to take care of, which is a reality when we consider the average age of an apprentice is 28 years old), for when they get their offer to go back to school. The EI top-up program can be a retention strategy for employers and can alleviate the stress for an apprentice, especially if you are on EI without any other support.”

Giving apprentices a head-start by belonging to a Group Sponsor Organization

Not only do candidates benefit from being matched with employers, they can also take advantage of SOY’s guidance and mentorship on becoming a registered apprentice in Ontario.

For some new apprentices, this includes what to expect on the job, tracking hours and competencies, financial literacy and how to stand out as an “ideal candidate” for an employer.

In the event they do get laid off or find themselves unemployed while apprenticing, SOY works with the individual ensuring that their registered training agreement (RTA) stays active so their apprenticeship can continue funding qualifications and staying on the list for their levelled-schooling are just a few examples of this necessary support.

SOY also provides help with résumé writing and networking to help apprentices stay on track and get placed with another employer in a timely manner.

Employers and aspiring apprentices can find out more on SOY’s website. The organization also offers Tools in the Trades Boot Camps for a variety of sectors where candidates can attend an immersive 1-day workshop which includes guidance on interview skills, résumé writing and workplace etiquette.

For more information contact Glenda Rahn: