With opportunities around every corner, there has never been a better time to consider a career in the trades.
Those looking for a quality education and a chance to get a leg up on the competition can now do so right here in Muskoka with Georgian College’s pre-apprenticeship program.
The pre-apprenticeship program covers a range of different topics including HVAC, carpentry and electrical.
Students can get on the fast track to success by signing up now for this 14-week program. The program start date is September 13. Applications are open now, with an application deadline of September 1.
The program gives students the chance to experience a range of different trades firsthand, to see which ones might suit their taste best.
“This course has given me the perspective I never would have been able to get on the job,” says student Elias Astathis. “I’m allowed and given time to learn how to do the job and why the job needs to be done that way. It’s helped me make up my mind as to what trade I want to dedicate myself to.”
Despite the pandemic, the school has been able to continue to offer real-life experience to students looking to enter the trades.
The program is funded through the government of Ontario and is tuition-free. Essentially the purpose of the pre-apprenticeship program is to allow students to try a range of trades risk-free before deciding which they may like to pursue as a career.
“This program gives you a really good opportunity to get into a trade and figure out what trade you want to do,” says student Fidel Roye.
According to Greaves the program is perfect for those who are looking to get into the trades – and specifically into the construction industry – but perhaps aren’t certain of which ones would suit them best.
“We know that the construction industry makes up about 23 or 24 percent of full-time employment in the Muskoka region. It is actually the largest employer of full-time people, and we know that there’s a huge need for entry-level workers in the construction industry,” says Mac Greaves, Associate Dean and Muskoka Campus Principal says.
The program is open to men and women aged 16 or older who are Canadian citizens or landed immigrants and have not already registered as an apprentice.
Greaves says the program has a high success rate with many of the students quickly moving on to become apprentices after they have completed their work placements. Other students have decided to pursue further education with Georgian College.
He also points out that in addition to learning the trades, the pre-apprenticeship program also offers the chance for students to pick up additional training like Working from Heights, First Aid and Lockout Tagout Training.
“These are things that a normal entry-level worker would have to pick up on their own, so this is being provided for them in the pre-apprenticeship program,” Greaves said. “We’re doing everything we can to have them career ready in 14 weeks for an entry-level career in the construction trades.”
Staff running the program have years of experience in the trades. That includes John Pearce, who has been teaching carpentry programs for more than 17 years.
“During the four-week long carpentry portion of the program, participants work in teams to build small wood-frame structures,” Pearce said. “I have witnessed first-hand as participants gain skills and confidence during our brief time together in the carpentry shop each session. Typically strangers to one another at the outset of the program, the participants quickly divide themselves into teams and collaborate to build full-scale buildings.”
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