Northwestern Ontario offers a number of venues for training in skilled trades. Among them are applied arts and technology college courses, private career college courses and apprenticeship programs, which generally require both practical work and classroom study as part of the curriculum.
Most college training programs are partially publicly funded and require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or its equivalent for admission purposes. Students attending these institutions generally pay lower tuition fees than those of private career colleges.
Apprenticeship programs provide on-the-job training to people who want to work in a skilled trade or occupation. New skills are learned in the work environment from skilled journeypersons. This route provides access to well-paying jobs that demand a high level of skill, judgment and creativity. It also offers individuals the benefit of being paid while gaining work experience, with wages increasing with the level of skill attained. There are currently over 140 apprenticeable trades in Ontario in four sectors: construction, industrial/manufacturing, motive power and service.
The provincial and federal governments make efforts to assist residents in responding to economic changes by providing venues for retraining employees without work. Programs like Second Career, provided by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, may assist with cost-sharing grants for individuals’ tuition fees, materials and living expenses as they retrain for a high-demand trade.