Employing and training an apprentice is an investment in your company’s future.
Apprentices are paid a percentage of a journeyperson’s wage rate, which increases with each successful year of training. The percentages vary by trade.
The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum found that employers receive a net benefit of $1.47 for every $1 spent on apprenticeship training.
Apprentices learn the most up-to-date standards and practices in their technical training, so hiring apprentices helps keep your business on top of new developments in your industry.
Your business may also be eligible for a tax credit from the Government of Canada while training an apprentice. Read about the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit.
Steps to hire an apprentice
Step 1. Consider taking on an apprentice
You may already have a general labourer who is a good candidate for apprenticeship training, or you may want to increase your workforce in a specific trade through apprenticeship.
Apprentices in compulsory certification trades must be supervised by a certified journeyperson. Talk to your journeyperson about the possibility of mentoring an apprentice before starting the application process.
Apprentices in optional certification trades must also be supervised by a person who has the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified in that trade.
Step 2. Complete the apprenticeship application and contract
Before your apprentice can start training, you both must complete and consent to the apprenticeship application and contract. Your employee cannot become an apprentice without a signed contract.
You start by choosing a designated contact for your business. Your designated contact has the authority to:
- recommend credit for any of the apprentice's previous work experience
- agree to enter into an apprenticeship contract
Your employee then starts the online apprenticeship application through MyTradesecrets. Be sure they have the email address of your designated contact. After they submit their portion of the application, your designated contact receives an email asking them to complete the employer portion. The information you both provide is used to create an apprenticeship contract.
You can use MyTradesecrets to:
- create your designated contact’s account
- complete the application
- consent to the supplied contract information
- pay the $35 apprenticeship application fee, should you choose
Learn about completing an apprenticeship application and contract on MyTradesecrets.
Step 3. On-the-job training
When the apprenticeship contract is finalized, you can start training your apprentice.
Apprentices need to complete a specific number of training hours each year. Their training must be:
- supervised by a journeyperson in accordance with the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act
- tracked in a record book that is verified and signed by the:
- direct journeyperson supervisor
- delivered in accordance with Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety requirements
The apprentice’s record book is submitted at the end of each training period to the local Apprenticeship and Industry Training office to track:
- satisfactory completion
- number of on-the-job training hours
Step 4. Technical training
Apprentices need time off and support to attend technical training so they can successfully pass their courses and exams.
Some employers continue to pay their apprentices during technical training. Apprentices who are not paid during technical training can apply for Employment Insurance or other financial support.
Step 5. Apply apprenticeship benefits to your business
Apprentices are learning up-to-date industry standards and practices. Encouraging your apprentices to apply and share what they learn during their training can benefit your entire workforce and your bottom line.
Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) conducts employer visits and worksite inspections to monitor compliance with legislation under the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act. Occupational Health and Safety Officers also have limited authority to monitor apprenticeship compliance on the worksite.
These visits are made to industrial and commercial worksites and residential construction sites to:
- monitor apprentice training
- provide information about Alberta’s apprenticeship system
- follow-up on cancelled or rejected applications
- ensure tradespersons and companies are complying with the AIT Act
Read more about compliance.
Join the Industry Network
Your experience can be used to make a difference in the future of your trade. Industry professionals provide invaluable input and direction to the apprenticeship technical training system.
Designated trades in Alberta have their own Industry Network that helps guide:
- course content
- credit for training
- on-the-job training skills
Find out how to join an Industry Network.
To connect with Apprenticeship and Industry Training:
Find an Apprenticeship and Industry Training Office near you.