Ontario Construction Careers Alliance
Apprenticeship Steps
Beginning the process of finding a job can be an unfamiliar
experience for many, here are several things you can do
to help you get a start in the workforce.

Complete your Resume
  • Ensure all previous experience is listed on your resume
  • Use a simple format and classic font
  • Ensure your name and contact information are prominently displayed
  • Proofread to ensure there are no grammatical errors

Make a list of work related skills you would like to learn
  • Think about skills that will make you more competent in the position you are applying for

Research the Company
  • Visit the company’s website, learn their mission, and ensure you understand what they do
  • Look to see who their client base is
  • Ensure to understand the services/products that the company offers

  • Often opportunities rely on employee referrals
  • Contact friends, relatives and acquaintances to see if they know of any opportunities
  • Contact all of your references for leads

  • Start volunteering for an organization that focuses on the career you are interested in
  • As you stick around and demonstration your commitment, you will be given more responsibility
  • Internships is a great way to get your foot in the door with a company

Cold Call
  • Locate the human resource or hiring manager at a company or organization to see if they are hiring
  • Ask what kind of qualifications they look for
  • As if you can send a resume
  • Visit the company in person

Other ideas
  • Use the internet to search for job opportunities on various job board sites
  • Look in local news papers for career opportunities
  • Job centres and various association magazines will also provide vacancies for employment
  • Use social media sites such as facebook, twitter and linkedin to search for groups and within an industry

Steps for Getting Involved With an Apprenticeship

Explore your career options with a trained career counsellor
Career counsellors have information, resources and tools to help you make a decision. Counsellors are available to meet with students to:

  • Assess your skills, interests, personality, strengths, talents, weaknesses and abilities
  • Match your strengths and weaknesses with a suitable career

Understanding your strengths, abilities and interest are required to make a wise career choice. Skilled trades are not for everyone. Each trade requires specific skills and interest. Start by learning about yourself and discover which trade is most suited to you(skill assessment on the OCCCI will provide guidance on what trade you might be more interested in).

Do your research
Gather relevant information about the trades or trades that interest you before pursuing an apprenticeship. It is important for your success to do some background research on the following:

  • Education Requirements
  • Training
  • Pre-apprenticeship courses
  • Time required to complete an apprenticeship
  • Wages
  • Educational costs
  • Cost of tools
  • Present and future employment outlook
  • Work environment
  • Challenges of the trade
  • Unionized vs. Non-unionized
  • Life-long learning opportunities

Techniques to help research your trades:
Information Interviews
Speak to someone working in a trade, company or career of interest to gain current information and an inside point of view. The goal is to obtain information and advice about the trade and tradesperson’s experience.
Who to Contact:
Talk to family and friends or counsellors for names of individuals that you can contact. Look for contacts on your own or by using the following resources:
  • Yellow pages
  • Business directories
  • Unions/associations
  • Articles in the newspapers
  • Trade magazines
What to Ask:
First start by explaining who you are, what grade you are in, and what your interests are. Tell your contact that you are interested in finding out more information out about full time positions and apprenticeship programs. You want to ask questions about what they do in their position, how they got started in the industry and why. Think of what other questions you would like answers to.

Create an action plan
Your action plan will help you get from point A to point B. Individuals who set specific, realistic and attainable goals generally experience great success.
Some factors to consider while creating your plan:
  • Training timelines
  • Upgrading current education
  • Cost of tools and training
  • Financial and family situation
  • Time required to complete apprenticeship
Items to help assist you with your job search:
  • Cover letter/Resume
  • Photos of any work you have completed-hobbies. Volunteering, or work experience
  • Networking Cards: contains contact information in case you do not have your resume on you
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Transcripts from courses
  • Portfolio: is an expanded resume, explaining your strengths, achievements and abilities in a visual format
  • Anything else you want to demonstrate your abilities

Get an employer to sponsor you
A complete search for an apprenticeship includes visiting many avenues. The following are some ideas to help you find employment opportunities:
Apprentice Search
Check out the apprentice search website that matches people looking for apprenticeship training and employers offering apprenticeships. You can create a profile, post your resume and apply for apprenticeships all on line: www.apprenticeserach.com
Cold Calling
Cold calls help you tap into many positions that may go unadvertised. Either by calling or going in person, a cold call is made to a person who is not expected to hear from you and does not know who you are.
By talking and connecting with people who are involved with the industry/trade you would like to become a part of. You are able to hear about unadvertised opportunities. Well over half of all job opportunities are filled via word of mouth rather than through advertisement. Once you make a contact, make sure to leave your information with them so they can call you regarding any opportunities.
Informal Interviews
Performing an information interview will give your more exposure to the trade and increase the number of contacts you have.
Job Postings in Local Newspapers
Remember that only 3-5% of jobs are ever advertised. Therefore, you need to make sure to check other resources as well.
World Wide Web
There are many job search sites on the internet where employers post opportunities. Check out the list posted.

Ensure that both your resume and interview skills are first class
Tips for Creating a Resume:
Both your resume and interview create a first impression to an employer. You need to stand apart from others and market your strengths, skills, experiences and interests.
  • Underline words in a job description that match your skills
  • Rank in order the skills for the job being advertised
  • Remember to include any job or volunteer experience that you have
  • Include an area on your resume that highlights your hobbies and interests

Follow up
Remain in touch with the employer by phone, email or in person, many people are afraid of being too forward but this is an important part of job searching and most employers welcome the call. Calling to ensure an employer has received your resume or just to show your interest can go a long way.

Be patient
Looking for an apprenticeship can be a long, difficult process that can take months. Do not get discouraged if you do not hear back from an employer right away.

What’s next when an employer wants to sponsor you
The Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities have set-up steps to follow to continue the process:
  • Either you or the employer must contact the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities at their nearest location
  • An employment and training consultant (ETC) from the MTCH will complete the required training agreement to register you as an apprentice
  • Both you and the employer must sign the apprenticeship training agreement
  • Complete the required on the job training

While on the job, you will complete the skills outlined in your training standard/schedule of training and or the number of hours set out by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. You will need to:
  • Complete the offer of training letter provided by the MTCU
  • Register at the training facility and the classroom fee to attend the in-school training
  • Attend and complete the in-school training-approximately 10% of your time is spent in a formal school setting
  • Apply for the completion grant

In order to become certified you must:
  • Complete all in-school training, hours as outlined and the competencies in your training standard or schedule of training
  • Contact your employment and training consultant and apply for your certification of apprenticeship
  • To obtain journeyperson status, contact MTCU to book the certification of Qualification exam
  • Certification in compulsory or restricted trades-you are required to renew your certification every 3 years.
Refer to the back of your wallet card or contact the employment Ontario certification branch at: 1-800-448-9656

Designed by Halton Industry Education Council
Revised by the Ontario Construction Careers Alliance