How to Apply for Ontario Apprenticeship Program

Ontario apprenticeship is a pathway to a rewarding career in the trades for those who live in Ontario province.

The Ontario apprenticeship is a pathway to a rewarding career in the trades for those who live in Ontario. It is formal training for those looking for a career in the skilled trades. In addition, it blends learning on the job and classroom experience.

Therefore, Ontario Apprenticeship ensures that an apprentice takes a class and learns the trade under the tutelage of a skilled worker. More importantly, they get paid while at it.

Do you desire to be an apprentice under the Ontario Apprenticeship? Here, you will find out how to qualify, find a sponsor or employer as well as get money or grants to enable you to pay for your apprenticeship training and tools.

How to Prepare to Train as an Apprentice in Ontario Apprenticeship

If you wish to work in a trades in Ontario but lack the necessary skills to qualify to get a job as an apprentice, you can apply for pre-apprentice training. The training takes place via various organizations like colleges or community agencies that are located within Ontario.

Furthermore, the training is free, covering training materials as well. In addition, it covers up to one year and could start at any time of the year. In the training, you can receive safety training for skilled trades, training to improve your academic skills as well as basic level apprenticeship in-school training.

You will also be offered a work placement for two weeks. If you live in Ontario, you can search for pre-apprenticeship training near you and apply directly to the organization.

How Ontario Apprenticeship Work

If you want to be an apprentice in Ontario, you must understand that you learn the skill while on the job. That is, you work while training for the skill. You will work and learn from skilled workers and receive some payment while at it.

Furthermore, you will learn in a classroom from those who have the knowledge already and are willing to teach the theoretical aspect of the job. As a result, you may acquire classroom knowledge on a college campus or in a union training centre.

In many situations, you will work for a year before switching over to classroom learning. The classroom learning takes place for eight to twelve weeks, either full-time or part-time. Interestingly, completing an Ontario apprenticeship will take you between two to five years.

Sectors of a Trade

Trades fall into four sectors of the economy:

  • Construction – Construction and maintenance electrician
  • Industrial – welder
  • Motive power – automotive service technician
  • Service – hairstylist

Starting an Ontario Apprenticeship

There are five things you will do under this category. They are:

  1. Find out if you qualify
  2. Find an employer or sponsor
  3. Apply for an apprenticeship
  4. Sign a training agreement
  5. Register with the Ontario College of Trades.

How to find out if you qualify

To be eligible for the Ontario apprenticeship, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years
  • Have legal permission to work in Canada
  • Meet the educational prerequisite for your preferred trade
  • Have a sponsor in Ontario.
  • Find an Employer or Sponsor

Here, a sponsor is a person that trains you in the apprenticeship. A sponsor can be an employer, a contractor or a group of employers in form of unions and non-union consortiums.

Ways You Can Find a Sponsor

Through the following means, you can get a sponsor for your apprenticeship program:

  • Guidance Counsellor: if you are in high school, you can easily get a guidance counsellor who can help you with advice and referrals for the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, Specialist High Skills Major, among other programs.
  • Colleges: if you are a college student, you can go to a placement office in your college, or to a career centre to help you find apprenticeship opportunities.
  • Online: there are job banks online. Visit them to post your resume for an apprenticeship position in your selected trade.
  • Employment Ontario (EO): this offers employment services and training opportunities, like matching apprentices to sponsors. You can visit their website for more information.
  • Unions or trade associations: Many trades have unions or associations with resources to find and match apprentices to sponsors. You can look for one around your area and register with them.
  • Local companies: there are local companies in the skilled trades of your chosen field. You can research them online or through your local resources, newspapers, or other directories.
  • Your network: you can ask around to see if anyone you know is in the skilled trades and if they are employing or know someone who is employing.

Apply for the Ontario Apprenticeship

There are two sets of people for this application – those between 16 and 17 as well as those from 18 and above. Follow the necessary guidance below:

If you are up to18 years old, you can apply for the Ontario apprenticeship online. More importantly, you must complete the application in one session. Interestingly, it just takes about 10 minutes to complete.

However, you must have all the documents ready before you start your application. Do not forget that you are applying in one session, meaning that if you log out, you may not recover the information again. Therefore, make sure you have the following handy:

Your information

  • Social insurance number (SIN)
  • Full mailing address
  • Valid email address (The ministry will send notices about your apprenticeship training to this email address.)

Sponsor’s information

  • Full legal name (this is usually different than the business name)
  • Business phone number
  • Email address
  • Mailing address
  • Sponsor contact information
  • First and last name
  • Phone number
  • Work arrangement details
  • Start date with the sponsor
  • Several work and training hours per week.

If you are between 16 and 17 years old, you are not to fill an online form. However, you must download a paper application. The reason is that you are going to fill the form with the help of your parents or guidance. Therefore, do the following:

  • Save the application to your computer
  • Fill out the application
  • Print the application and sign it
  • Get your parent, guardian and your sponsor to sign it
  • Mail (or submit it in-person) the completed, signed application to your local Employment Ontario apprenticeship training office

And so, the ministry will review your application and let your sponsor know whether or not your application was approved. This means your application may not be approved.

As such, it is partly due to the number of applications the ministry received. Also, you can always change your sponsor later.

Sign a training agreement

If your application is approved, the ministry will do the following:

  • Create a training agreement for you and your sponsor to sign
  • Approve the signed agreement
  • Register your apprenticeship training
  • Register with the Ontario College of Trades

Registration with the Ontario College of Trades

Once your training agreement has been registered, the next step is to apply for membership with the Ontario College of Trades. You have just 90 days to do this. Moreover, you must be a member of the College to work as an apprentice.

Quebec Apprenticeship System

Financial Aid and Grants for Apprentices in Ontario

There are many provincial and federal financial aids and grants for apprentices in Canada. In Ontario, you can equally access them. Some oft hem include:

Financial Aid

  • Interest-free federal loans for training in a Red Seal trade – up to $4,000
  • Federal grants if you are out of high school and training in a Red Seal trade – up to $4,000
  • Income support through federal employment insurance to help with full-time technical training costs
  • $2,000 for you after your apprenticeship

Tools Grant

New, non-repayable tools grant is available for apprentices. The grant is to enable you to take care of the financial costs of tools and equipment for your trade. Also, the amount of the grant depends on which trade sector you are focused on. The amounts of the grants are as follows:

  • $1,000 for motive power sector trades
  • $600 for construction sector trades
  • $600 for industrial sector trades
  • $400 for service sector trades

Eligibility for the Grant

To be eligible for the grant, you must fulfil the following requirements:

You must have:

  • Completed or been exempted from level one in-class training
  • A registered training agreement
  • Been registered as an apprentice for at least 12 months

How to Apply for Tools Grants

If you are eligible to apply for the provincial grant, you will receive an email with the link on how to apply. You can also apply online if you believe you qualify for the grant.

Grant for full-time Study

In some cases, most trades may need you to undergo two or three levels of classroom training during your apprenticeship. Each level lasts eight to 12 weeks, depending on the trade. The classes are convenient to be taken on a part-time or full-time basis.

You can equally get Employment Insurance (EI) for financial support during your full-time studies. However, you may not be successful. Hence, if you do not qualify for EI, you can apply for a grant of up to $3,600.

Nevertheless, you must have done the following to qualify for the grant:

  • Attended class on a full-time basis
  • Passed the level of classroom instruction at an official facility (college or union training centre is an example)
  • Registered as an apprentice with the ministry

When you complete one level of your classroom training, you will receive a grant application from the ministry. However, you have 180 days from the last day of class for that particular level to apply.

How to Complete an Apprenticeship

When you are through with your apprenticeship training, you will receive a Certificate of Apprenticeship within six weeks. To receive the Certificate of Apprenticeship, you and your sponsor will have certain tasks to perform.

Your sponsor will send the ministry your document as proof that you have completed your training. This document could be in form of a letter, logbook or the Apprenticeship completion form from the Ontario College of Trades.

For some trades, you will need to pass the hurdle of an exam to get a Certificate of Qualification. The trades in this category include the plumber, electrician, automotive service technician, hairstylist, cook, tool-and-die maker, arborist as well as drywall finisher and plasterer.

When you complete your apprenticeship in a Trade, you will automatically become a member of the Ontario College of Trades.

Getting a Red Seal

If you have a Red Seal, you are qualified to work in other provinces of Canada without undergoing further tests and paperwork.

The Red Seal is available in over 50 trades. Some of them are welding, carpentry, cookery, industrial millwrighting, general machinery, etc.


In summary, apprenticeship is the only post-secondary educational pathway with various incentives attached to it. This is because of the increase in the demand for skilled trades in Ontario and other provinces of Canada. As a result, you can finish your training with some money in your pocket.