Implementing Your Apprenticeship Program
Photo courtesy of Okanagan College
An apprenticeship is a post-secondary education program that combines work experience, on-the-job and technical training
- Approximately 80 per cent of an apprentice’s learning is done “on the job”. Training is provided by the employer, with the apprentice learning from a certified journeyperson or qualified individual and is measured in hours and months.
- Approximately 20 per cent of an apprentice’s learning is completed through a post-secondary establishment, usually a college or technical training institution.
- Apprentices are required to successfully pass an industry exam at the end of each block/period of training.
- A Recreation Vehicle Service Technician apprenticeship program lasts 3 years.
- When an apprentice has satisfied all the requirements of the program, therefore completing the contract, he or she is granted a Journeyman Certificate.
7 Steps To Successfully Manage Your Apprentice
Apprenticeship doesn’t have to be complicated. Once you’ve recruited and hired your apprentice, follow these 7 steps or download the Guide to implement an apprenticeship program at your workplace.
As an employer, you need to create a workplace environment that will help your apprentice succeed.
You must orient your apprentice to the workplace and the trade.
You are responsible for ensuring that your apprentice:
- Has proper equipment and understands the safety standards of your workplace.
- Is clear on which certified journeyperson (or equivalent) is responsible for their work-based training.
- Receives work-based training that incorporates the full scope of the trade.
- Training can take place at multiple work sites, if required.
The sponsor, supervising journeyperson and the apprentice all need to be fully aware of the competencies your apprentice should be learning. You need to work together to create a training plan to include the role the apprentice will play, types of jobs they will be doing, and their long-term goals.
Here’s how to create a Training Plan:
1. Follow the Program Outline for the training institution of your choice and use this information to create a structured training plan.
2. Download the Journeyperson’s Guide to Apprentice Training. It’s a handy tool to help you develop your training and monitoring plan.
Both the employer-sponsor and apprentice need to register with the respective provincial or territorial apprenticeship authority. You will generally do this at the same time, and it’s important to do it as soon as possible to activate the apprenticeship.
Here’s how to Register an Apprenticeship:
- Create an account online with your apprenticeship authority. You will need to provide:
- Your company information, including mailing and e-mail address.
- Information about your apprentice, including legal name, address, birth date, etc.
- The contact information for the individual(s) who will report information to the apprenticeship authority such as apprentice work based training hours etc.
- If you choose to complete the registration form on paper, both the sponsor and the apprentice must complete and sign the form.
- If you are already registered as a sponsor, record your Sponsor Number on the form. If this is your first time as a sponsor, leave it blank and the apprenticeship authority will assign you a number.
Follow the instructions on how to submit the registration form to your apprenticeship authority.
Alberta (Online registration only)
New Brunswick (Contact a local apprenticeship office)
Newfoundland and Labrador (Paper registration)
Northwest Territories (Paper registration)
Nova Scotia (Paper registration)
Nunavut (Paper registration)
Prince Edward Island (Paper registration)
Quebec (Contact your local Emploi-Québec office)
Saskatchewan (Paper registration)
Yukon (Paper registration)
Upon approval of your program, the apprenticeship authority will work with you to develop a schedule that meets apprenticeship standards for the occupation. They will also provide a competency checklist of the tasks that your apprentice needs to master.
Familiarize yourself and your journeyperson with the training materials and schedules prior to the start of the program. You and your journeyperson will be mentors to your apprentices. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate your mentoring and coaching skills and brush them up ahead of time.
The sponsor and apprentice are jointly responsible for managing progress towards completion of the apprenticeship. As a sponsor-employer, you need to track your apprentice’s hours and report them to the apprenticeship authority regularly.
Your apprentice’s program will require a set amount of work-based training hours – about 80% of their total apprenticeship.
About work-based training hours:
- One hour on the job = one hour of work-based training
- Your apprentice may accumulate work-based training hours while working for your and/or for another employer
- Work-based training hours must be completed under the direct supervision of a certified or approved tradesperson and be approved by the sponsor
Here’s how to track and report work-based training hours:
Work-based Training Hours Report (log book) and make sure the sponsor has signed it.
As a sponsor, you are responsible for reviewing your apprentice’s official records and reporting any discrepancies to the apprenticeship authority.
Your apprenticeship authority will send updated apprentice training transcripts to both sponsors and apprentices when:
- The apprentice completes a level of technical training
- The apprentice writes a technical training level exam on a challenge basis
- The apprentice or sponsor notifies the apprenticeship authority that a sponsorship has been changed
- The apprentice “times out” of a youth apprenticeship
- If there is no activity reported for an apprentice for 12 months
About 20% of your apprentice’s time will be spent in technical (classroom) training. Technical training includes both theoretical and practical assessments. Apprentices must achieve an overall score of 70% to pass and get a credit for each level of technical training.
As an employer, you are required to make it possible for your apprentice to take technical training. This may include releasing your apprentice from work for the duration of the technical class. Talk to your apprentice early on, and work together to determine the best options for training times, to meet your business needs and allow your apprentice to get the required training.
The first technical training is generally scheduled one year after registering as an apprentice. If your apprentice has been working in the trade for some time, a shorter interval may be appropriate.
Classes fill up quickly, so encourage your apprentice to register well in advance.
Your apprenticeship authority will only grant course credits for technical training from recognized training providers. Check to make sure your apprentice registers for training with an accredited and recognized training provider.
As a sponsor, you are responsible for deciding whether or not to recommend your apprentice for certification.
Once your apprentice has completed all work-based training, technical training and other program requirements, and has passed the relevant certification exam, your apprenticeship authority will send you a Recommendation for Certification form. By completing this form, you are attesting that it is the judgment of a certified tradesperson or someone who has applied and been granted Sign Off Authority by your apprenticeship authority that your apprentice is now working at the skill level of a certified tradesperson.
When your apprenticeship authority receives your positive recommendation, they will issue the trade certificate and send it to you to sign and present to your apprentice.
Your apprenticeship authority maintains a permanent record of all certifications.
If you decide not to recommend your apprentice for certification:
- You must provide your apprenticeship authority with the reasons and a training plan to remedy skill and knowledge deficiencies. You must also suggest a date for the apprenticeship authority to send another Recommendation for Certification
You are also responsible for communicating with your apprentice about your decision and plan.
Looking for information on challenging certification or recognizing prior technical training? Go to Challenge Certification/Prior Experience Recognition page and look for the appropriate jurisdiction.