Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program

What is the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program?

Overview of OYAP

One of the priorities of the Ontario government is to increase the number of youth participating in apprenticeship. OYAP allows students to gain training in an apprenticeship occupation of potential career interest through cooperative education.

OYAP provides opportunities to students to participate in an apprenticeship occupation while enrolled in a secondary school program leading to an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). The program is flexible enough to allow students to leave OYAP without consequences.

OYAP is an option, and not a path into which students are “streamed”. Successful OYAP graduates acquire their OSSD and accreditation for completing part of the on-the-job training requirements of a formal apprenticeship. They may also acquire accreditation from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) for part of the in-school training component of the apprenticeship program in which they are registered.

Click here to play the OYAP Game Halton.

Eligibility OYAP is an option for all secondary school students who are working towards an OSSD. To be eligible for the program, students must be enrolled full time in high school, taking co-op, successfully completed 16 credits and be 16 years of age.

An OYAP student is defined as a student who is receiving cooperative education credits for work experience in an apprenticeship occupation. The student may or may not formally register as an apprentice while in secondary school. The student’s cooperative education personalized placement learning plan (PPLP) must be based on the on-the-job training requirements outlined in the government approved training standards for the trade. Formal registrations are decided on a case by case basis by the Employment and Training Consultants and Service Delivery Manager after careful assessment of a student’s commitment towards the trade and of the employer’s commitment towards the student.

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Thinking about trying on the trades? Watch this video!

Becoming an Apprentice

Cooperative Education OYAP placement supervisors/employers are expected to document a student’s achievement of competence.

In Halton, students have 2 options:

  1. Any students doing coop in an apprenticeable trade are OYAP students and can start to get their apprenticeship hours counted towards their apprenticeship if they are registered as an apprentice through the board OYAP contact while in coop (Barb Finan: finanb@hdsb.ca for HDSB or Mike Johnston: johnstonm@hcdsb.org for the HCDSB)

  2. Students can take any of our Concentrated OYAP programs that are listed below. These pre-trade programs give students the experience necessary to start their career in one of the many skilled trades. These courses teach the curriculum for the first Ministry of Training Colleges and University (MTCU) apprenticeship course as well as the Ministry of Education expectations. Coop is a part of each of these programs and while in coop, these students can also be registered as an OYAP apprentice by contacting the board representative above.

OYAP Programs

What is Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is a form of post-secondary education in which a person earns his / her qualifications or certification as a Skilled Tradesperson.

  • 85% of the apprentices learning will take place on the job taught one on one by a Certified Trades person.
  • 15% of the apprenticeship will consist of taking apprenticeship courses at a Community College.
  • The government will pay 90% of the apprentice’s tuition.

The learning that must take place on the job is outlined in the Training Standards and the learning that must take place in the apprenticeship courses at College is outlined in the Curriculum Standards.

The College of Trades set these standards with input from industry committees.

In many cases these are Canada wide standards. A Red Seal means the Apprenticeship Certification is recognizes across Canada.

Registration: How does apprenticeship work?

An Apprenticeship can take between 2 -5 years to complete, depending on the trade.  Apprenticeship is made up of 2 parts.  About 85-90% of an apprenticeship is working in a skilled trade while the apprentice gets paid.  The other 10-15% of an apprenticeship consists of courses that are offered at Community Colleges or other Training Delivery Agencies (TDA's) that have been approved by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and University (MTCU).  The apprentice would normally work for about a year in the trade before being invited to take the 8-12 week course by the Training Consultant at the MTCU.  The apprentice only has to pay a small amount for this course (about 10% if the cost) and the MTCU pays the rest.  The apprentice may have to take up to 3 of these courses throughout their apprenticeship.  The apprentice must have all of the requirements below in order to complete their apprenticeship.

1.  Complete all of the required work hours for the apprenticeship

2.  Successfully complete all of the required levels of training (8-12 week courses)

3.  Complete the required competencies in the Training Standard that is given to the apprentice once they are registered as an apprentice.

4.  Write and pass the final Certificate of Qualifications exam at your local MTCU office.  For Halton, this is the Mississauga office.  Pass is 70%

Why Get Involved in OYAP?

You can….

  • begin your post secondary education & training while in secondary school
  • earn apprenticeship credits traditionally taught at community college while completing your secondary school diploma credits
  • experience enriched technical programming
  • learn apprenticeship theory
  • reduce your apprenticeship qualification time
  • get your foot in the door with a potential employer / trainer
  • earn while you learn
  • prepare for technician / technologist post secondary programs
  • gain work experience and high-tech skills
  • increase your academic readiness for apprenticeship and technical college programs
  • increase your safety awareness
  • receive W.H.I.M.I.S. training
  • earn first aid and C.P.R. qualifications
  • help meet the growing need for Certified Skilled Trades people in Ontario

How do I start my Apprenticeship while still in school?

1.  Take co-op in a Halton high school.  Ideally, the student would have taken courses related to the trade they are interested in getting into which might include the Concentrated OYAP programs that are offered.

2.   The student should tell the coop teacher that they are interested in doing an OYAP coop and would like to get credit for any hours that they will do during the co-op towards their apprenticeship.

3.  The co-op teacher should then write the Personalized Placement Learning Plan (PPLP) with some expectations from the Training Standard for the trade the student will be working in so that the student can start to complete the Training Standard expectations.

4.  About a month into the co-op placement, the employer should be asked if they are willing to register the student as an OYAP Apprentice.  The information below can be given to the employer in order to help the employer to understand what this means for them (15 Reasons for Employers to Register)

5.  The co-op teacher then has a Request for Registration form (section 2 of the OYAP Participation form) that needs to be filled out and emailed to the board OYAP Facilitator (For Halton District School Board, Barb Finan, finanb@hdsb.ca.:  For Halton Catholic District School Board, Mike Johnston, johnstonm@hcdsb.org).  This form requires the students Social Insurance Number (SIN) as well as contact information for the student and employer.

6.  A Registered Training Agreement (RTA) will then be sent to the coop teacher of the student so they can get the students, employers (sponsor) and if the student is under 18, the parent/guardian signature is required.  Once all 3 copies of their RTA are returned to to the OYAP rep at the board (info above), the student will receive information through the mail on next steps.  One of the very important next steps is to fill out the College of Trades application form, which will be in the mailed package or can be downloaded from www.collegeoftrades.ca.  This form must be sent to the College of Trades or the apprentices Registered Training Agreement will be cancelled after 3 months.  There is no cost to be registered with the College of Trades while the student is an OYAP student.  Go to www.collegeoftrades.ca for more information. 

7.  The apprentice can now go to www.collegeoftrades.ca under members services and download the Training Standard for the trade they are now in.  Read this book over and start getting signed off on competencies while in your coop placement.

8.  In a few weeks, the student should receive an apprenticeship card in the mail.  Once the student has officially graduated, the student is responsible for sending the training consultant at the MTCU proof of graduation from high school.  At that time, the training consultant will change the student over from an OYAP apprentice to a regular apprentice.

15 Reasons for an Employer to Register an OYAP Student as an Apprentice

Please Note: An OYAP student is defined as a Co-op student 16 years of age or older earning co-operative education credits in an apprenticeable occupation

    • You are instrumental in launching a student's future

    • No change in your obligation to pay or not pay your student

    • No additional paperwork required

    • No change in length of the work term as per signed Work Education Agreement

    • No obligation to maintain or hire after work term ends

    • Does not impact ratios for construction trades (OYAP students are exempt)

    • No increase in liability; students remain covered for accident and injury with WSIB

    • Financial incentives available (apprentices and employers) if signed or registered

    • Student gets a head start on the skill set as per Training Standard

    • Student gets a head start on required/benchmark hours

    • More meaningful co-op experience for the student

    • Student is more focused and goal oriented; improved performance

    • Provides direct way for student to enter an apprenticeship (saves student time & money)

    • Student may be exempt from list first level tuition fee ($400 savings)

    • At end of work term and if not hired, students are still eligible to attend in-school portion while he/she seeks a new employer


Why Choose the Skilled Trades


When the words "Skilled Trades" are mentioned, people often think of carpentry or plumbing, but the trades encompass very diverse options that extend far beyond the traditional. To date, there are over 140 careers in the skilled trades. Technological advances and innovations have transformed the trades into challenging and dynamic careers - Careers that are in demand! There is something for everyone these days.

Apprenticeship Trades

Click to enlarge


Do you want to find out more information about a trade above?  Just click below and find out more information.




The OYAP process consists of 4 main stages

1. The information gathering and awareness stage

2. The program contact stage (log onto www.onsorts.ca and choose up to 2 courses that you may be interested in.)

3. The interview preparation stage

4. The interview to learn more about the process or to start the process you can download the following documents. These documents designed to help you through the process of being accepted into a Concentrated OYAP Program.



  • OYAP Application Form   - All forms required to apply for one of our Concentrated OYAP programs
  • To be registered as an apprentice while in the coop placement, you can fill this form out, and return it to your coop teacher.   OYAP Participation Form

You may also pick up a complete package from the School to Career Guidance contact at your present school to book a visit or interview.

For the name of the School to Career Contact at your school go to our Contact Us page.

To apply or find out more about an OYAP school to career program, click here

Apprenticeship Information

  • Apprenticesearch.com - The best place on-line to search for opportunities and information about the skilled trades.  This connects employers with apprentices.

  • Durham Region Local Training Board - This site has a business directory, links to information about employment and training and inventory of programs & services.

  • The Skills Site- Has detailed information about necessary courses (elementary, secondary, post-secondary) that will provide basic education to become a skilled worker. Shows available jobs and training resources.

  • Career Planning- HRSDC - Offers career counselling and employment opportunities. Also features an A-Z index of career-related programs & services.

  • Made With the Trades - Shows Union and Association info and apprenticeship and tradesperson case studies.

  • My Future Beyond High School - gives advice on careers in the military, scholarships and colleges. Great tips, and examples of resumes.

  • Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program - Has a program for high school students to begin an apprenticeship while in school and shows program information and application information.

  • Skill-ed- Has course calendars for colleges, poly-technical institutes, business colleges, vocational colleges, computer schools proprietary educational facilities and liberal arts schools; also university and course catalogues.

  • Career Cruising - Designed to help students plan their future. Each school has their own free login. Ask your guidance department for account information of your school!

OYAP Game!


Click Here to play the OYAP Game!

Tweet us at OYAP Halton for more information about apprenticeship and our great OYAP programs.

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Halton Pathways


OnSorts (On-Line Student OYAP Registration and Tracking System) Use OnSorts to keep your post-secondary endeavours up-to-date, show your interest in apprenticeship or coop studies, or just to learn more about your options.
ALL HCDSB students must meet with their guidance counsellor or Lead teacher to apply to a program currently running in this school year. 

Click here to visit OnSorts.ca.