Why the Skilled Trades?
Jobs in the skilled trades are becoming more and more popular in Ontario for a number of reasons. Careers in the skilled trades are high in demand, meaning that there are many opportunities available in a variety of career fields. In addition, the trades provide you with on-the-job paid training, so you get paid while you learn. Furthermore, the in-school training portion takes much less time than attending a regular college or university, which makes this an ideal option for those who want to jump right into the field.
More Savings, Less Debt
- A career in the trades lets you earn money while you learn.
- About 80% of training occurs while getting paid on the job.
- In-school training is in short blocks of 6-12 weeks.
- The cost for attending in-school apprenticeship training is significantly lower than that of most college and university programs.
Get Financial Support
There are government apprenticeship loans for tools and school fees as well as apprenticeship tax credits, and grants for completion of school terms and qualification exams!
- Up to $4,000 in interest-free federal loans for training in a Red Seal trade
- Up to $4,000 in federal grants if you’re out of high school and training in a Red Seal trade
- Income support through federal employment insurance to help with full-time technical training costs
- $2,000 once you finish your apprenticeship.
A new, non-repayable tools grant is available for apprentices as of August 2020. As an apprentice, this grant will help you pay for tools and equipment for your trade. Apply for the Tools Grant here.
The amount of the grant depends on which trade sector you’re apprenticing in. The grant amounts 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
View the full list of trades by sector.
To qualify for the Tools Grant, you must have:
- Completed or been exempted from level one in-class training, on or after April 1, 2020
- A registered training agreement
- Been registered as an apprentice for at least 12 months.
Grant for Full-time Study
Most trades require you to do two or three levels of classroom training during an apprenticeship. Each level lasts eight to 12 weeks, depending on the trade. You can take these classes on a part-time or full-time basis.
Some people can get Employment Insurance (EI) for financial support while studying full-time.
If you do not qualify for EI, you can apply for a grant of up to $1,500.
To qualify for the grant, you must have:
- Attended class on a full-time basis
- Passed the level of classroom instruction at an approved facility (for example, college or union training centre)
- Registered as an apprentice with the ministry
The government of Ontario will mail you a grant application when you complete one level of your classroom training. You have 180 days from the last day of class for that particular level to apply.
Learn By Doing
- Minimize your time in class, and maximize your time practising skills on the job.
- In-school training is hands-on, with minimal textbooks or lectures.
Make a Difference
Tradespeople create buildings and bridges. They fix machines and vehicles. They feed us. They make us safe. They create and maintain structures and items we use every day.
Earn a Good Wage
Some tradespeople can make up to $60,000/year right out of school! As your career advances, you can make more than $100,000, depending on the trade and location.
Good Employment Prospects
- Many skilled trades’ workers are currently in their 50’s and are expected to retire in the next decade.
- Choosing a highly skilled career reduces the chances of having your job offshored or automated.
- Many skilled trades’ certifications are nationally recognized through Red Seal, giving journey persons the ability to work across the country and travel.
Start Your Own Business
- Set your own hours
- Be your own boss
- Follow your own dreams, instead of someone else’s
- Be a leader
- Make change in your trade: for your clients, for the community, or for the planet.