The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is a School to Work opportunity that allows students in grades 11 and 12 to explore and work in apprentice occupations through the Cooperative Education (Co-op) program. Students have an opportunity to become registered apprentices and work towards becoming certified journeypersons in a skilled trade while completing their secondary school diplomas.

Become an Apprentice While in High School With OYAP

OYAP provides students with an opportunity to start their apprenticeship while they are still in high school. For a student to be eligible for co-op, they must be participating in a cooperative education program. 
OYAP provides employers with many benefits including: 
  • Having an opportunity to trial a potential future apprentice
  • Having the option to continue an apprenticeship or terminate the apprenticeship throughout the co-op experience
  • Providing current employees with a supervisory role in order to increase leadership opportunities for staff
  • Having the co-op teacher support the student and the sponsor with the process of completing the registered training agreement
  • Being able to train the student to support skill development that is directly related to the needs of their business
  • The student being able to start to work towards completing competencies in their Apprenticeship Training Standard Book
  • The potential for students to participate in their Level 1 training during their grade 12 year if they are a registered apprentice. This can help to support the growth of a business
  • The co-op student being provided with various training including certifications such as Working at Heights, First Aid & Level C CPR and W.H.M.I.S.
  • Increased public awareness about the skilled trades and apprenticeship pathway
In January 2022, the Ontario government launched Skilled Trades Ontario, a new crown agency, to improve trades training and to simplify services. According to the government, the new agency will: 
  • promote and market the trades
  • develop the latest training and curriculum standards
  • provide a streamlined user-friendly experience for tradespeople
Skills Ontario will be providing an online platform. OYAP apprentices will not be required to use the portal until they have graduated high school and have transitioned to a regular apprentice. This platform will allow apprentices to:
  • schedule classes and exams
  • submit forms
  • pay fees and more
The details of the portal will be communicated by the government in the upcoming months. Skilled Trades Ontario (skilledtradesontario.ca) is a place for apprentices to access information on the apprenticeship process including on-the-job training and the in-school training portions of the apprenticeship process. Skilled Trades Ontario will also house the Apprenticeship Training Standards and the Curriculum Training Standards documents. These standards will be updated from the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) documents that are currently available. 
As of January 1st, 2022, OYAP apprentices will not have to register with the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT). OCOT has been transitioned into Skilled Trades Ontario and will assume responsibility for compliance and enforcement. OYAP students will continue to work with their sponsor and co-op teacher in order to navigate the apprenticeship process.
OYAP eligibility diagram. Figure of a person with 3 speech bubbles. 1. "14 credits and working to completion of OSSD". 2: "15 years of age". 3: "Full-time or part-time student".
There are specific eligibility requirements for students to participate in this program. Students can be enrolled part-time or full-time but must have at least 14 credits and be 15 years of age.

Nuts and Bolts of the OYAP Process

Graphic titled "The Apprenticeship Pathway." Illustration of curvy road with arrows leading into the distance. Green start flag in foreground, black and white checkered "Completion" flag at the end. Markers along the way alternate between "On the job" and "In school".
An apprenticeship is a form of post secondary education similar to college or university. It involves a combination of on-the-job training and classroom learning which leads to a trade credential or ‘ticket’. Apprentices not only learn skills in a classroom, but they also receive paid on-the-job training with an employer.
  • Beginning an apprenticeship in secondary school launches the exploration of a rewarding career in the skiGraphic with image of smiling young woman in hard hat. Text at bottom: Apprenticeship leads to career opportunities. Speech bubbles surround her: "I can become a trade instructor. "I can become a supervisor or manager." I can represent my trade in a business or labour group." "I can become a master journeyperson." "I can become a business owner."lled trades
  • The student is supported by their co-op teacher to find an employer that is a good fit for both parties
  • Becoming an apprentice in secondary school means that one of the hardest parts of obtaining an apprenticeship is already complete - finding an employer!
  • Students can use the time and competencies learned while participating in OYAP to put towards their apprenticeship once they graduate from secondary school
  • Once the student graduates high school, they will be in line for the first level of the classroom training required by their chosen trade
Students who are enrolled in a co-op which is a trade where you can apprentice are automatically "Participants" in OYAP. For example, if a student is participating in co-op at a restaurant in the kitchen preparing food, they are enrolled as a “Cook”. For students who are “Participants” in a trade, the following must be completed:
  1. Students and parents complete the Participant Application Form from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD), provided to them by the co-op Teacher.
  2. Co-op teachers will provide the student with an OYAP wallet card. This card should be with the student while at co-op. In some of the Construction trades, the MLTSD visits worksites and looks for student identification in the form of the wallet card.
  3. Teachers will enroll the student into the Employment Ontario Information System as a 
    Participant in co-op.
A journeyperson is an expert in their trade. Earned money while learning and completing the trade competencies. Completed 2-3 levels of classroom training. Passed the final exam and earned a provincial certification.
Employers and students who agree to take the first step towards an apprenticeship - here’s what you can expect:
  1. The co-op Teacher will consult with the employer and the student and parent to initiate the process.
  2. The second part of the form will be completed by both the student, parent and employer.
  3. The MLTSD training consultant for AMDSB will send the employer the required paperwork to complete.
  4. The employer will return the paperwork to the training consultant once completed so that the student can be entered into APPR-EOIS.

Poster with a wide variety of apprenticeship trades listed. Follow link for accessible PDF version.
Compulsory trades require apprenticeship. These trades include electrician, plumber, and hairstylist.
Non-compulsory trades do not require apprenticeship. These include cook, welder, and powerline technician.

Start your Level 1 Apprenticeship Training at AMDSB

Avon Maitland DSB partnered with Edge Factor in 2020 to provide local video content for our students in grades 9 through 12. These four videos showcase the skills, knowledge and technology required to be successful in each industry. Additional resources to support pathways planning can be found on the Edge Factor platform.
Some of these engaging resources include topics such as STEAM, financial literacy, careers of the future and soft skills. Check out edgefactor.com for more information or request access through your Student Services department.

Bruce Power Nuclear Energy


Ice Sculpting at Ice Culture


Mechanical Engineering at Nuhn Industries


Construction Masonry at Saugeen Amphitheatre

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