Hiring an Apprentice for Your Workplace

The Ontario government is committed to ensuring Ontario has the competitive workforce that employers need to remain prosperous in the 21st Century. A strong apprenticeship program is key to achieving that goal.

The website is designed to assist employers who want to introduce an apprenticeship program into their workplace. It provides information on the supports available to you as well as the commitment you need to make to potential apprentices.



What is apprenticeship training?

  • Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and in-class instruction

As an employer, what are the benefits to me in participating in apprenticeship training?

  • Participating in an apprenticeship program ensures you will have an employee that is not only trained to provincial industry standards but also understanding your unique workplace conditions
  • Apprenticeship training allows you to benefit from the government-supported in-class training portion of the program, while supporting your future workforce needs and those of your industry.
  • An apprenticeship program allows you to have within your company a pool of experienced employees of different ages so that you will be better able to plan to meet future workforce needs due to expansion plans or the retirement of older trades persons.
  • Recruiting potential apprentices through the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program can be a cost-effective solution to training and retaining young workers.
  • A recent survey of apprentices found that participants developed a loyalty to the company that hired them, which leads to a more stable workforce.

Your advantage is that you are training an apprentice to meet industry standards and the standards you set for your company.

For more information, contact your local ministry apprenticeship office or call 1-800-387-5656.

To check the credentials of an apprentice or journeyperson, visit the Ontario College of Trades public register of members.


Does the Ontario government provide supports or incentives to encourage me to hire an apprentice?

The Ontario government firmly believes that the decision by employers to invest in workplace-based training is essential to the future prosperity of the province. However, it acknowledges that employers participating in the program make a commitment in resources and time.

The Ontario government offers the Employment Ontario: Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit to encourage employers to hire and train apprentices in specific skilled trades.

For more information about these and other supports and incentives, contact 1-800-387-5656, or your local Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities apprenticeship office.


What do I need to do to get started?

There are approximately 150 skilled trades in Ontario that require apprenticeship training. You can search the list of these trades or call your local Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities apprenticeship office.

The process of registering an employee as an apprentice and their on-the-job training leading to certification is straight forward and, if you need further information or assistance at any point in the program, a Ministry Training Consultant can help you.

Here's a step-by-step guide to introducing an apprenticeship program into your workplace:

  • When you are ready to make a training commitment, hire the employee. If you need assistance, your local Employment Service can help you find a qualified candidate.
  • Connect the employee with a qualified skilled mentor or trainer in your workplace. Details about the skills required to be a qualified trainer will be explained by a Ministry training consultant.
  • Once you have an employee on staff, contact your local ministry office to arrange for a Training Consultant to visit your workplace to register your new employee as an apprentice.
  • The Training Consultant will discuss your role and responsibility, as well as those of your employee and the Ministry in apprenticeship training. The Consultant will also supply you with an on-the-job training guide that you will need to start training the apprentice and to monitor his or her progress in meeting the trade-specific standards required to become a skilled tradesperson.
  • Apprentices must be members of the Ontario College of Trades.
  • Review with the apprentice the trade-specific training standard that the Training Consultant has provided you, and initially focus on the safety measures contained in the standard. As your apprentice demonstrates skills, regularly sign these off in the training standard. At this point, you should encourage your new apprentice to maintain contact with the Training Consultant.
  • The apprentice would attend the in-class portion of the training, and you should release them as scheduled with the local Apprenticeship Office. This in-class training is typically three eight-week blocks of time over the course of a four-year apprenticeship program but can also be available on line, or on a part-time basis. Classroom training is delivered at a community college or other training delivery agent.
  • When apprenticeship training is complete, encourage and support your apprentice in preparing for and writing the certification examination.

When you are ready to make a training commitment, hire the employee. If you need assistance your local Employment Service can help you find a qualified candidate.

To check the credentials of an apprentice or journeyperson, visit the Ontario College of Trades public register of members.


How do I know I'm getting the best person to begin an apprenticeship program?

The Ontario government provides a number of programs that can assist you in finding someone interested in entering an apprenticeship program.

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) provides opportunities for high school students to begin apprenticeships while still in school. As an employer, this program provides you with a number of benefits:

  • School-work programs are a cost-effective solution to recruiting, training and retaining young workers
  • You can observe the potential of individuals on a trial basis to see if they are a good fit with your workplace
  • Offering high school students work experience increases competitiveness and enhances a company's productivity
  • Students are a valuable resource and can bring expertise in the latest technology and computer software
  • Students bring ideas, energy and enthusiasm to the workplace
  • Being involved in school-work programs enhances your public image and consumer loyalty
  • Providing opportunities for young people to pursue rewarding careers in their home communities rather than seek work elsewhere.

Through Employment Service, employers can be linked up to young people in their communities who are between 16-24 and are looking for opportunities to pursue careers in the skilled trades. As an employer, this program provides you with a number of benefits, including:

  • Pre-screening of job candidates,
  • Training plans and supports,
  • Negotiable placement lengths,
  • Possible training allowances, and
  • Job advertising and recruitment services.

For more information, contact your local Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities apprenticeship office or call 1-800-387-5656.

To check the credentials of an apprentice or journeyperson, visit the Ontario College of Trades public register of members.


As the employer, what are my responsibilities?

The responsibilities of the employer will be discussed in detail when you first meet with the Training Consultant to register your new apprentices. In general, the employer is responsible for ensuring:

  • On-the-job training as described in the training manual is being provided,
  • The Training Standard is being reviewed with your apprentice on a regular basis to ensure the completed competencies are "signed off" by the supervisor and the apprentice,
  • A letter verifying the apprenticeship competencies that have been achieved (or hours worked for construction trades) under supervision is provided when the apprentice completes their training or leaves your employment,
  • Your apprentice is released from work as necessary to attend the in-class training without penalty to the apprentice,
  • Your trainer(s) clearly understands their roles and responsibilities.

If you are working in the construction trades, you must also pay your apprentice according to the Contract of Apprenticeship and maintain the apprentice-to-journeyperson ratios. For all other trades, you must pay your apprentice as set out in the Employment Standards Act and follow the guidelines as established by the Industry Committee for the specific trade your apprentice is entering.

You must also ensure your apprenticeship office is notified if:

  • There are changes to your facilities, equipment, or staffing which could affect your ability to provide on-the-job training or supervision,
  • Your company relocates or changes its mailing address,
  • An apprentice leaves your employment.

For more information, contact your local Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities apprenticeship office or call 1-800-387-5656.