Already checked to see if you qualify? Apply for an apprenticeship

Looking for a sponsor or employer? Visit the job bank

How apprenticeship works

As an apprentice, you learn a skilled trade on the job. You work with and learn from experienced workers, and get paid while you do it.

You also learn in a classroom from instructors who know the trade. This may take place on a college campus, in a union training centre, or other training environment.

For most trades, you work for a year or more and then switch to studying in class for eight to 12 weeks, either full or part-time. It takes between two to five years to complete an apprenticeship.

Get help and advice

If you need help or advice at any point before, during or after your apprenticeship, contact Employment Ontario or get help in person at an apprenticeship office near you.

  • 24,850
    employer sponsors in 2022-23
  • 80
    Ministry-approved Training Delivery Agents across Ontario
  • 1 in 6
    Job openings between 2022 and 2026 is expected to be trades-related

Explore the trades

There are different types of trades, including:

View the full list of designated trades.

Search trades-related job profiles to see what’s in demand, how much you can earn, education requirements and more.

How to prepare for an apprenticeship

Get free pre-apprenticeship training in eligible trades and take college courses in a skilled trade.

Find more information on how to prepare for apprenticeship.

If you’re in high school

Talk to your teachers and guidance counsellors to help you:

How to start an apprenticeship

  1. Find out if you qualify

    To qualify for an apprenticeship, you must:

    • be at least 16 years of age
    • have legal permission to work in Canada (for example, have a valid social insurance number)
    • meet the educational requirements for your chosen trade
    • have a sponsor in Ontario
  2. Find a sponsor employer

    A sponsor is someone who provides you with apprenticeship training. A sponsor can be a single employer, individual (for example, a contractor) or a group of employers (for example, unions or non-union consortiums).

    How to find a sponsor

    • Guidance counsellor: If you’re in high school, ask your guidance counsellor for advice and referrals for the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program and other programs (Specialist High Skills Major, dual credit program.)
    • Colleges: Most colleges have a placement office, or can direct students to a career centre to help find apprenticeship opportunities.
    • Online: Visit the job bank to post your resume and availability for an apprenticeship in your chosen trade.
    • Employment Ontario (EO): EO offers employment services and training opportunities, like matching apprentices to sponsors.
    • Unions or trade associations: Many trades have unions or associations with resources to find and match apprentices to sponsors.
    • Local companies: Research local companies in the skilled trades. Try your local online resources, newspapers, or other directories.
    • Your network: ask around to see if anyone you know is in the skilled trades and if they are hiring or know someone who is hiring.
  3. Apply for an apprenticeship

    If you're 18 years old or older

    You can apply online through the STO Portal (Skilled Trades Ontario Portal).

    Before you begin the application process, make sure you have this information handy:

    • your personal information:
      • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
      • full mailing address
      • email address (the ministry will send notices about your apprenticeship training to this email address.)
    • sponsor’s information:
      • full legal name (often different than the business name)
      • full mailing address
      • business phone number
    • sponsor contact person’s information:
      • first and last name
      • phone number
      • email address
    • work arrangement details:
      • start date with the sponsor
      • number of work and training hours per week

    You also have the option of submitting a paper application by mailing or submitting it in-person to your local Employment Ontario apprenticeship office.

    If you’re 16 to 17 years old

    You must download a paper application.

    • save the application to your computer
    • fill out the application
    • print the application and sign it
    • get your parent or guardian and your sponsor to sign it
    • mail (or submit it in-person) the completed, signed application to your local Employment Ontario apprenticeship training office

    We will review your application and let your sponsor know whether or not your application was approved.

    Note: You can change your sponsor later.

  4. Sign a training agreement

    If your application is approved, the ministry will:

    • create a training agreement for you and your sponsor to sign
    • approve the signed agreement
    • register your apprenticeship training