Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program
What is the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)?
The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program allows a Co-op student to begin to learn a skilled trade while completing the requirements for a high school diploma. A co-op student may be signed as an apprentice with the employer at the time of their placement. Students graduate with a diploma, skills in a trade, experience in the workplace, and a head start in a skilled profession.
OYAP also is responsible for the promotion of skilled trades and apprenticeship as a "first choice" pathway for students after graduation, on par with college or university programs.
Click here for more details on how OYAP works, and what it provides to get young people started on rewarding careers in the skilled trades.
Who can participate?
Eligible OYAP students must:
be enrolled in secondary school full-time or part-time;
be at least 15 years old*
have at least 14 secondary credits*
be working towards an OSSD (Ontario Secondary School Diploma)
for most students, this means they can start as soon as the summer before they enter grade 11! (Depending on availability of summer co-op programs and skilled trades placements, and minimum age requirements for workplaces as defined by the Labour Act.)
*as of February 2021, these are new guidelines allowing students to get started earlier than before! Previously students had to be 16 years old with 16 credits.
Preparing for OYAP
Students interested in the apprenticeship pathway participate in OYAP by taking Co-operative Education where the work placement is in a recognized skilled trade.
Students intending to participate in OYAP should start planning early by:
researching the types of skilled trades requiring apprenticeships that interest them. (Try this online survey for a start!)
researching the opportunities for apprenticeships in their area - see the list and map below for employers who have offered OYAP placements recently;
selecting and completing high school courses related to their skilled trade of interest
selecting Co-operative Education in grade 11 and/or 12
speaking to a Guidance teacher to assist them in their research and course planning
speaking to a Co-operative Education teacher to assist them in securing a work placement that fits their plans
What Kinds of Skilled Trades do RRDSB OYAP Students Learn?
There are over 140 skilled trades in Ontario that can be learned through apprenticeship. Some of the skilled trades that RRDSB OYAP students have gotten a head start on in recent years include:
Auto Body Repairer
Auto Body and Collision Damage Repairer
Automotive Service Technician
Heavy Duty Equipment Technician
Small Engine Technician
Truck and Coach Technician
Child Development Practitioner
Child and Youth Worker
Developmental Services Worker
Retail Meat Cutter
Electrician - Construction and Maintenance
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic
Industrial Mechanic Millwright
Check out the amazing employers who support our OYAP students!
Note - this is not necessarily complete. There may be opportunities for skilled trades placements that are not listed here. Some employers may be listed more than once, as they have offered placements in more than one trade.
Are you a skilled trades employer? Should you be on this list, or would you like to be? Contact a Co-op teacher at your local high school, or the RRDSB OYAP coordinator (contact info listed below).
"I can use this course in my current Co-op placement and the next." * "The training was good, and I can use it right away."