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Apprenticeship training has certainly been an under-appreciated sector by Career Counselors in the past...but no more!  Alberta's industries are hungry for technical skill sets that only come with apprenticeship training.  For students who are superior "hands on" learners, apprenticeship is an excellent choice! As well, salaries in trades continue to rise while they stagnate in other areas...

An apprenticeship is a post-secondary education program that combines work experience, on-the-job training and technical training.  Students seek out a journeyman in the trade of their choice willing to sponsor them as an apprentice.  An apprenticeship training period can last between one and four years, depending on the trade chosen.   80% of an apprentice’s education takes place on the job and the remaining 20% is done at an approved college or technical institution.  Apprentices are required to write an industry exam at the end of each period of training.  When the student has met all the requirements of the program, a Journeyman Certificate is granted.

The Apprenticeship program is a mutually beneficial arrangement. The apprentice has a mentor willing to teach the technical skills and to provide practical training in a working environment.  The Journeyman has the opportunity to train employees in a manner that will provide them with skilled staff who will help build their business.

This is a link that will take you to a list of all recognized trades in Alberta...the amount of trades that a student can choose from is quite stunning!

Many colleges offer pre-employment programs for students who are interested in a trade but unable to secure an apprenticeship. For example, Lakeland College's pre-employment electrician program gives the student the skills and information necessary to become an apprentice in the electrical field.  Graduates with an attendance record of 90 per cent or better are eligible to write the first year Alberta Apprenticeship Exam if the student meets trade entrance requirements.  These programs are expensive but do give the student an edge when seeking an apprenticeship.

Just a reminder that there are many scholarships available to students who wish to pursue a trade!

   "Starting out to make money is the greatest mistake in life. Do what you have a flair for doing, and if you are good enough at it, the money will come."

                                                                          Greer Garson