The Challenge to Finding an Employer Sponsor - CAF-FCA picks up the challenge
in a special report

OTTAWA, May 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum-Forum canadien sur l'apprentissage (CAF-FCA) investigated the issue of finding an employer sponsor in a recent research study by looking at National Apprenticeship Survey data and by talking directly to apprentices. The 2007 National Apprenticeship Survey was a collaborative effort on the part of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), each of the provincial and territorial apprenticeship authorities, and Statistics Canada. The CAF-FCA study analyzed survey data by trade, province/territory, and equity group.

Here's what we found:

Highlights from the National Apprenticeship Survey

Approximately 17% of respondents report challenges finding an employer-sponsor. The trades where respondents have the most difficulty finding an employer-sponsor include:

    -   automotive service technicians,
    -   millwrights,
    -   industrial mechanics,
    -   machinists,
    -   heavy equipment technicians/truck and coach technicians

The three top challenges identified by respondents were:

    -   no employers hiring apprentices,
    -   no work in the trade at the time, and
    -   lack of work experience or knowledge (employer wanted a licensed or
        qualified apprentice or journeyperson and/or was unwilling to train
        or pay an apprentice)

Highlights from the focus groups

One hundred and thirteen apprentices from Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Manitoba participated in the focus groups. Most participants were from British Columbia and Ontario. Participants practiced a variety of trades but most were electricians, carpenters, and cooks. Many apprentices in the focus groups did pre-apprenticeship programs or worked as labourers before connecting with employer-sponsors. Many participants cited "Lack of work experience" and "employer unwilling to train an apprentice" as key challenges in finding an employer-sponsor. Apprentices found employer-sponsors by using their networks, by cold calling, and through pre-apprenticeship work terms.

Overall, apprentices thought the most challenging part of the apprenticeship process was finding a supportive employer who was committed to seeing the apprentice through the process. Once apprentices found this supportive employer, they said they had positive experiences.

CAF-FCA is a not-for-profit, multi-partite organization bringing together the key constituents within the apprenticeship community through research, discussion and promotion. The report, The challenge of finding an employer-sponsor, provides National Apprenticeship Survey data on finding an employer-sponsor and summarizes the comments of apprentices who participated in focus groups. To see the detailed data and summary of the apprentice focus group findings go to

For more information from the National Apprenticeship Survey, check out the report entitled "National Apprenticeship Survey: Canada Overview Report 2007."

Funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program


For further information: For further information: Margo Royce, Communications/Project Manager, (613) 235-4004 ext. 207,

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