Increasing pre-apprentice programs good for industry

Beginning a career can be intimidating for a young person. I will soon hit my two-year mark since finishing University/College. I mention this because I feel that this gives me a unique perspective onto the topic that I wanted to discuss in this column: the many, many apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs now available. It wasn’t too long ago that I myself was a student or working within a placement in my field.

The biggest surprise for me was that employers really enjoy just throwing new workers into situations to see how they are able to handle the work. It doesn’t necessarily matter whether or not they fail. This is exactly why many of the apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs are set up. They are an effective way to introduce students to a potential career in the skilled trades.

These are the type of programs that we need to see more of in high schools and colleges to solve the worker shortages in our industry. From my experience, not too long ago being in high school, there very much is a stigma about the skilled trades. The only program that my high school even offered in the trades was a few courses in the automotive industry. That was it.

That being said, it is great to see that governments are finally approaching the skilled trades shortage in a productive manner (I don’t really see how the movie theatre ads currently running really accomplish much).

My inbox can attest to the number of press releases, as of late, that have been in relation to the increase of these programs – I even saw, while writing this column, that a high school in Windsor, Ont., reports that they will be introducing a new program in our industry. I am glad to see in some ways our tax money is going towards a good cause.

Over a year ago now, I was able to tour a local high school that offered a program similar to the one mentioned above. It was amazing to see young high school students working on projects exactly like what you would see a contractor doing on a jobsite.

I am interested to see what the enrollment numbers will be from this program. What do you think about apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs? Email at to let us know!


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