Benefits of apprenticeship

Taking on an apprentice has many benefits, such as:

Prepare for the future

The average age of an Ontario journeyperson is 47 years old. Taking on an apprentice trains the next generation of workers and helps you prepare for the future of your business.

Loyal employees

Hiring apprentices early in their careers fosters company loyalty. A 2010 Canadian Apprenticeship Forum report shows that apprentices felt more loyalty to employers who trained and eventually hired them.

Your business, your training

When you train an apprentice to provincial and national (Red Seal) industry standards, you also train them to understand your unique workplace.

Financial incentives

You are eligible for different grants and/or federal tax credits when you train or hire an apprentice. Recruiting potential apprentices through the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) can be a cost-effective way to train and hire young workers.

Hire the best

Local colleges, high schools, training, and pre-apprenticeship programs can help you find the best talent and match you with the most qualified apprenticeship candidate.

Six-step guide to hiring an apprentice

  1. Assess your training ability

    An employer, individual or a group of employers can sponsor an apprentice and provide hands-on training for a trade.

    Before you begin the process of hiring an apprentice, it’s important to make sure you have the capacity for it.

    If you want to train an apprentice, you must:

    • have the facilities, people and equipment needed to provide the training
    • make sure the apprentice has time to attend classroom training as part of the apprenticeship program
    • meet any Ontario regulations applying to your trade, such as wage rates and ratios where they apply—including Ontario minimum wage where applicable

    Under the Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, 2021, the journeyperson to apprentice ratios are set at one-to-one for all trades with ratios.

  2. Find an apprentice

    After you’ve determined you have the capacity to properly train an apprentice, your next step is to find an apprentice who is a good fit for your business.

    An apprentice candidate must be at least 16 years old and meet the minimum education requirements for the trade.

    Here are some ways you can find an apprentice:

    • Online job listings: Post opportunities on our job bank to recruit across Canada.
    • Employment Ontario: Get in-person recruitment help at Employment Ontario (EO). They can also help to assess prior training and learning to determine where an apprentice begins in the apprenticeship program.
    • High school student apprentices: The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program ( OYAP) partners high school students with employers. Contact your local OYAP coordinator to get started.

    Apprentices registered in another province or territory

    Hire an apprentice who started training outside of Ontario. The hiring process is the same for apprentices from Ontario or another province.

    To evaluate out-of-province training and job experience, you can ask for the following documents:

    • Work experience: For example, a signed letter or record of employment from previous employer(s)
    • Technical training: For example, a program transcript or letter from their college or training institution
    • Apprenticeship registration in their home province or territory: For example, a copy of their training agreement or a registration wallet card

    We strongly encourage you to work with your local Employment Ontario apprenticeship office to recognize previous workplace and formal training completed outside of Ontario.

  3. Register the apprentice

    Once you've found someone you'd like to train as an apprentice, an online apprenticeship training application can be completed through the Skilled Trades Ontario Portal which includes your information as the sponsor. In some cases, you can complete the online application.

    If you haven't been approved as a sponsor already, someone from your local Employment Ontario apprenticeship office will contact you to confirm if you qualify as a sponsor.

    If an apprentice candidate is under 18:

    If an apprentice candidate is 16 or 17 years old, they must fill out the paper application form.

    It has to be signed by:

    • you, as the sponsor
    • the apprentice’s parent or guardian

    Once completed and signed, the apprentice candidate can submit the application to your local Employment Ontario apprenticeship office.

  4. Sign a training agreement

    Once the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Developmen has approved you and the apprentice candidate, you will get more information about your roles and responsibilities from a local apprenticeship office within five business days.

    You and the apprentice candidate will then sign a training agreement confirming the terms of the apprenticeship, and the ministry will also register your signed training agreement.

    The agreement confirms that:

    • The apprentice can apply for provincial and federal financial incentives.
    • You ensure that the apprentice will have time to complete the formal schooling/classroom training. Your local Employment Ontario apprenticeship office will coordinate school scheduling for the apprentice.
    • You can assign the apprentice work in compulsory aspects of the trade (for applicable trades, such as plumber, electrician, automotive service technician).
    • You will confirm when the apprentice has completed their workplace training based on apprenticeship training standards, hours logged and skills acquired.

    If you have questions or need support during an apprentice’s training, you can contact your local Employment Ontario apprenticeship office.

  5. Train the apprentice

    As the employer/sponsor, you are responsible for training an apprentice on the skills set out in the Apprenticeship Training Standard Log Book.

    Review the log book regularly with the apprentice, and sign off on the skills as the apprentice acquires them.

    Make sure you keep the ministry informed of any changes to your business information or the Registered Training Agreement.

  6. Finalize training and complete paperwork

    When an apprentice completes their on-the-job and classroom training, they will get a Certificate of Apprenticeship. Completed apprentices who pass the trade exam (if applicable) will get a Certificate of Qualification.

    To obtain the Certificate of Apprenticeship, the employer/sponsor and the apprentice have a few tasks to complete.

    You will need to confirm to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development that the apprentice has completed training. This could be in the form of:

    • a letter
    • sign-off on the apprenticeship training standard log book
    • Apprenticeship Completion Form

    We encourage you or the apprentice to speak with your ministry consultant to confirm completion requirements. Learn more about finishing an apprenticeship and what comes next.

Trades with ratios

Under the Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, 2021, the journeyperson to apprentice ratios are set at one-to-one for all trades with ratios.

Some trades are designated as compulsory.

If you want to practice in a compulsory trade, you must be either registered as an apprentice, or hold a Provisional Certificate of Qualification or Certification of Qualification.

If a trade is not designated as compulsory, it means that an apprenticeship or certification is not legally required to practice the trade.

List of trades:

  • Architectural Glass and Metal Technician
  • Brick and Stone Mason
  • Cement (Concrete) Finisher
  • Construction Boilermaker
  • Construction Millwright
  • Drywall, Acoustic and Lathing Applicator
  • Drywall Finisher and Plasterer
  • Electrician – Construction and Maintenance (compulsory)
  • Electrician – Domestic and Rural (compulsory)
  • Floor Covering Installer
  • General Carpenter
  • Heat and Frost Insulator
  • Hoisting Engineer - Mobile Crane Operator 1 (compulsory)
  • Hoisting Engineer - Mobile Crane Operator 2 (compulsory)
  • Hoisting Engineer - Tower Crane Operator (compulsory)
  • Ironworker- Generalist
  • Ironworker – Structural and Ornamental
  • Painter and Decorator – Commercial and Residential
  • Painter and Decorator – Industrial
  • Plumber (compulsory)
  • Powerline Technician
  • Precast Concrete Erector
  • Precast Concrete Finisher
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic (compulsory)
  • Reinforcing Rodworker
  • Residential Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic (compulsory)
  • Residential (Low Rise) Sheet Metal Installer (compulsory)
  • Restoration Mason
  • Roofer
  • Sheet Metal Worker (compulsory)
  • Sprinkler and Fire Protection Installer (compulsory)
  • Steamfitter (compulsory)
  • Terrazzo, Tile and Marble Setter

Money for employers

Ontario’s employer supports

Employers who train apprentices may be eligible for grants to help mitigate the cost of training. The Achievement Incentive and Group Sponsorship Grant will help more employers take on apprentices to build Ontario’s apprenticeship and skilled trades pipeline.

Achievement Incentive

The Achievement Incentive is a grant program that:

  • helps employers train apprentices by reducing some of the cost of training
  • supports apprentice progression by giving grant payments to employers when their apprentices reach major milestones

The program offers up to $17,000 to eligible employers when apprentices meet training and certification milestones.


$1,000 registration payment for each newly registered apprentice to the ministry who is under the age of 25 and/or self-identifies as part of an under-represented group (for a maximum of $2,000, if applicable).

In-class training progression

$1,000 milestone payment for each level of in-class training completed, up to four levels of schooling (where applicable).
An additional $1,000 milestone payment for each apprentice under the age of 25 and/or apprentice that self-identifies as being part of an under-represented group (for a maximum of $12,000, where applicable).


$1,000 milestone payment when your apprentice achieves the highest certification in their trade, either a Certificate of Apprenticeship or a Certificate of Qualification.

An additional $1,000 for each apprentice under the age of 25 and/or apprentice that self-identifies as being part of an under-represented group (for a maximum of $3,000).

How to qualify

Eligible employer and group sponsors will:

  • be notified by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development when their apprentices complete levels of in-class training and attain the highest level of trade certification
  • receive a web-link to apply electronically through a secure, one-time online application

Get more information about the Achievement Incentive.

Federal employer supports

In addition to the provincial funding, employers may be eligible for money from the federal government including:

Contact us

Get advice on attracting and recruiting the right employees, and how to get money to help with on-the-job training costs. Visit the Open for Business page to find resources on how to grow your business.

Get help in-person at one of the Employment Ontario apprenticeship offices across the province.

You can also contact us over the phone, email, chat live with us or request an in-person appointment with an Employment Ontario counsellor.