OTTAWA, Dec. 8 /CNW/ - The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum - Forum canadien sur l'apprentissage (CAF-FCA) is pleased to release a summary, Transitioning to Apprenticeship for Youth.
In October 2010, CAF-FCA hosted the Transitioning to Apprenticeship for Youth dialogue. Thirty guests representing various apprenticeship stakeholder groups from across Canada, including school boards, provincial and federal departments, unions and industry associations, joined the CAF-FCA Board of Directors for discussions on some of the best and most promising practices for transitioning youth to the labour market.
This session was intended to enhance stakeholders' understanding of best practices to facilitate more efficient and successful transitions, particularly as they relate to apprenticeship and the skilled trades. Objectives of the discussion were to share programs' strengths and lessons learned, and to identify areas for enhancing the transition from high school to apprenticeship.
The discussion covered five main areas:
- Attracting youth to apprenticeship and the skilled trades
Participants agreed that providing opportunities for young teens and children to explore career pathways in the skilled trades was a promising practice and needs to be introduced as early as possible. Twenty-two year-old certified carpenter, Joel Michaud, explained his involvement in Alberta's Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) and how it helped effect his progress at Labbe Leech Interiors Ltd., where he is currently employed and moving into a supervisory role. But, he credits his grandfather with inspiring his love for carpentry when he was just a child and he noted he still has his first work bench from that time.
- Best practices for connecting apprentices and employers
Participants cited a number of tools, resources and best practices that can help connect employers and apprentices more swiftly. Service providers from Ontario and BC shared information on what is happening in their respective provinces. Guests learned about efforts to connect apprentices and employers through apprenticesearch.com in Ontario and various high school-to-apprenticeship transition programs in BC.
- Communicating benefits to employers
Participants identified ways that non-participating employers could be informed of the benefits of apprenticeship training. One such example noted that Skills/Compétences Canada encourage employers to attend their competitions to see firsthand the opportunities to engage with youth. Conveying his passion for food and cooking, 23-year-old Sébastien Laframboise shared his experiences competing at Skills Canada Competitions and winning gold at WorldSkills Calgary 2009. Today, Sébastien works in Quebec City's award-winning Le Saint-Amour restaurant and dreams of opening his own restaurant some day.
- Success indicators of youth apprenticeship transition programs
Guests at the dialogue noted there are many outcomes that point to the effectiveness of youth apprenticeship transition programs. Mike Hanson, site supervisor and safety coordinator with Security Electrical Ltd., described his company's commitment to apprenticeship with 60 apprentices and journeypersons on staff. He spoke to the value of youth apprenticeship transition programs that allow youth to explore and gain experience in the skilled trades.
- Next steps
Inspired by the group discussions and stories of the two youth panelists, participants agree that there are a variety of ways in which the apprenticeship community can continue to facilitate more efficient and effective transitions into apprenticeship programs for youth.
To read the entire event summary, watch video clips from the panelists' presentations and Q & A period and learn how you too may play a role, please visit http://www.caf-fca.org/en/forum/transitioning_for_youth.asp.
According to the 2007 National Apprenticeship Survey, over seven percent of apprentices participated in a youth apprenticeship program before leaving high school. Apprentices in underrepresented groups (women, visible minorities, apprentices with disabilities and Aboriginals) are more likely to participate in these programs than others.
Studies completed earlier by CAF-FCA also suggest that only a small percentage of apprentices enter full-time post-secondary apprenticeship programs through high school to apprenticeship transition programs. Yet research from the Canadian Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) Council shows that apprentices who take part in some form of pre-apprenticeship training, including high school to apprenticeship transition programs, are more likely than those without such training to complete their apprenticeship.
Funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program, CAF-FCA is an inclusive national body that brings together all players in apprenticeship training. CAF-FCA works under the guidance of its Board of Directors, who represent every aspect of the apprenticeship community. Our work has brought to light a number of key issues that affect apprenticeship training - such as perceived barriers to training; the business case for apprenticeship; and the importance of promoting apprenticeship training as a valued and respected choice for post-secondary education.
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