Introduction to Apprenticeship
Apprenticeship is a form of post-secondary education that combines paid, work-based training (about 85% of training), with technical training in a classroom or shop setting (about 15% of training). Successful completion of both components, along with examinations, is required to earn a certificate or ticket, and become a certified tradesperson. The length of an apprenticeship can range from one to five years, but most require four years to complete.
Beginning Your Apprenticeship
There are several routes into apprenticeship, including:
- Direct entry with an employer to sponsor you
- Pre-apprenticeship Foundation program at a college of your choice
- Applying for credit for prior training or experience, which may enable you to complete your certification requirements in less time
- Secondary school apprenticeship programs
For more information on all these options and the next steps involved, check out the ITA Go brochure (pdf).
Industry Training Overview
In B.C. there are currently more than 100 apprentice trade programs offering career opportunities. Upon successfully completing one of them, you will earn a government-recognized credential. This is often referred to as your certification or "ticket" and someone who has certification is often referred to as a "certified tradesperson". With certification, you'll have the advantage of being able to demonstrate a defined skill level in your trade or industry occupation.
Trades occupations are vital to the economy, and make excellent career choices. Many people are attracted to careers of this type because they let them make a particular ability or creative talent part of their working lives, or because they allow them to work in an environment they enjoy.
The most direct way to train for a trade or industry career is to find work in the field, with an employer who will commit to an Apprenticeship. Through the Secondary School Apprenticeship and ACE IT programs, you can even begin your training while you're still in high school, and earn dual high school and post-secondary credit while you do so. A growing number of people also take Foundation Programs, at a college or other training institute, as an initial path towards a trade or industry occupation.