Schools Training

A Real-World Education

17 JUL 2012
Career Path : Apprenticeships

Industry and business in the Middle Ages was dominated by a system of specialized craft guilds. A master craftsman would take on a young apprentice in a mutually-agreed upon contract where the apprentice would get formal training in a craft, as well as food and lodging, in exchange for helping the master craftsman with his business. Eventually, the apprentice would become their own master craftsman and pass on their knowledge and skill to future apprentices.


Today, the apprenticeship system has evolved, but the foundations are still the same. Someone aspiring to work in a specific trade or craft can become an apprentice to get real-world educational training by working for a company that can provide the environment and situations necessary for the experience. It is the essence of all hands-on work experience.


Signing up for an apprentice program through the resources offered by a college or vocational school is a great way ease into the process. One of the advantages of this is that the student has the opportunity to continue combining theoretical classroom training with on-the-job experience.


Many schools with vocational programs have intimate ties with the industries in which they are training future professionals. Once a student has found an employer willing to offer an apprenticeship, the school can help the student evaluate whether or not this employer has all of the necessary background and resources to ensure the best possible training. By registering as an apprentice through a school, the hours the apprentice puts in will translate to credits in completion of a certificate or diploma.


Many apprenticeship programs don’t begin by placing the student with a company right away. There is always the risk that a lack of sufficient skill or proper knowledge of an industry and its leading companies won’t prepare the student enough to begin working as an apprentice. Also, without any preparation from a school or institution, the budding apprentice may not possess the background to be attractive to the best employers for an apprenticeship. It is always a good idea to consider a school with pre-apprenticeship training program.


Apprenticeships are often done simultaneously with a college program, but one does not have to rush into working side-by-side with learning. If you know what field of apprenticeship you would like to enter, consider completing a college diploma or certificate program in a related field. Not only will employers be more likely to give you an apprenticeship, but it will also give you the chance to get a taste of the industry and to know exactly what kind of apprenticeship or career you are after.


Many provinces in Canada give students the opportunity to register as apprentices while finishing high school. Apprenticeships in Ontario, for example, have an excellent Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program to help young people learn about the process and get them started early.


Being a professional means having a wide range of knowledge and experience, but it is always a learning process. Get started early on a career by turning real life work into a cornerstone of your education by being an apprentice.


Visit Mohawk College for information about automotive apprenticeships.