My road to becoming a 309A electrician apprentice started during a Pre-Technology course at college where I realized I was more interested in electrical versus mechanical studies. Today, at age 23, I am in my first-year apprenticeship with a great company in the fire alarm industry.
As a 23-year-old woman working in the trades, I’ve had great job opportunities and co-workers, despite the sexism out there. Sometimes I have found it is harder to be a woman and I must work harder to prove myself. But I have a lot of determination to be treated equally in a lot of aspects.
My journey to becoming an apprentice electrician started after I came to Canada. I liked the idea of being able to earn while learning in an apprenticeship. I considered continuing my education at college or university for accounting or IT, but the skilled trades made more sense to me. I’m now 30 years old and a first-year apprentice.
I’ve always wanted to be an electrician. My path to getting to where I am now, in the first year of my apprenticeship with a company in Mississauga, has been interesting. I’ve come a long way from my electrical courses at high school, including working in another career, before returning to the trade.
My journey to becoming an electrician started early, around age 12. When my dad and stepdad, both electricians, were doing repairs and projects around their houses, they would ask me to help; that’s how it all began. I wrote and passed the Certificate of Qualification (CofQ) exam earlier this year, and today, at 23 years old, I’m officially a licensed journeyperson.
My apprentice journey started with the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) when I was in Grade 12. It’s funny how this worked out because I got the last spot in the program after a chance meeting with the teacher in charge at my school. My application was late, but the teacher pulled some strings and drove my application to the OYAP office. It seemed like I was meant to be in OYAP.
Becoming an electrician was a second career for me. When I started, I had to allow myself to be a beginner again, something that takes getting used to, especially later in life, it’s definitely not natural. Today I am happy to have successfully passed my Certificate of Qualification (CofQ). I am so thankful for the learning and guidance provided to me over the past five-years, especially from my employer and the Support Ontario Youth team.
I was never a fan of studying, and to be honest with you guys, I was very nervous. During the 11th week of third block, we did over 200 test questions and I really focused on reviewing what I was getting wrong. It's overwhelming, and it was a lot of studying, I'd say 4-6 hours at least before the day of the exam. I felt nervous and I didn't think I passed. It's so hard to tell, you know. I was extremely happy and relieved when I got the news.
My name is Steve, I’m an apprentice electrician, currently with Support Ontario Youth (SOY), and happy to be part of their organization.
I came to the trades later in life, in my 40s, at which point it was not easy to get a sponsor, as many employers are looking for young guys in their 20s.
My name is Rob. I am 35 years old and have been in the construction industry since I painted my first house with my dad when I was 15. I have worked for many different companies, over the years, that have promised me an apprenticeship but just kept stringing me along to keep me working. Last August (2018) I saw a sign for apprenticeship help through employment Brantford. I called the number and they put me in touch with Support Ontario Youth.
My journey as an apprentice began when I started secondary school. I planned my course selection so that compulsory courses would be completed before grade 11. In order to do this, I had to sacrifice some of my summers after grade 9 and 10 to complete two compulsory courses. This worked out well because I was able to free up time during my senior semesters in order to participate in the program Building Careers from the Ground Up.
I started my journey in B.C. it was very smooth going, big condo/commercial projects. Costs were getting way too high. Moved to Ontario to find out apprenticeships are done completely different. It seemed that all the burden is on the apprentice to make a broken system work.
This Employment Ontario Program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.