May 28th, 2024

Ontario introduces sped-up apprenticeship path for high school students

By The Canadian Press on May 1, 2024.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, right, gets help from grade 11 student Shannon Williams, 16, as they practise welding at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Pickering, Ont., on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. Ontario high school students will soon be able to spend most of their time in Grade 11 and 12 in an apprenticeship, if they choose to participate in a new skilled trades program.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

BRAMPTON, Ont. – Ontario high school students will soon be able to spend most of their time in Grade 11 and 12 in an apprenticeship if they choose to participate in a new skilled trades program.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce indicated last year that the government would be moving in that direction and, along with Labour Minister David Piccini, unveiled those details today.

The province is creating a new stream within its Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program that will allow students in Grade 11 and 12 to spend 80 per cent of their time in co-op courses, intended to accelerate their entrance into the skilled trades.

Lecce says students will still have to take math and English courses.

The new stream is set to start in September 2025.

Piccini says in order to meet the demands of building critical infrastructure, the province will need 500,000 more people in the skilled trades over the next decade.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 1, 2024.

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