Starting an Apprenticeship?

Considerations for Job Seekers

Landing an apprenticeship position, even in the best of times, can be difficult. During a recession or a time of slow economic growth, it can be particularly challenging. Often in these times, fewer employers are in position to hire. Despite the current economic climate, finding an apprenticeship in a skilled trade in Ontario can still happen, provided the jobseeker prepares well for the search, works hard at it, and is willing to persist when job offers are not immediately forthcoming.

Thorough preparation involves extensive research, a commitment to schedule a certain number of hours per week to actual job-seeking, and a willingness to identify and pursue a network of personal contacts. An updated cover letter and job-specific resume, with assistance or input if required from an employment professional, is critical. Mock interviews are also beneficial.

Our experience with jobseekers and employers using our website, www.apprenticesearch.com in recent months, indicates a large number of jobseekers often compete for a small number of apprenticeships in a very limited number of trades. Although some of these jobseekers may be excellent candidates for positions, we find that many apply for positions while lacking the qualifications required. Some use resumes that do not highlight the type of skill or experience that employers seek. Some apply for positions in distant locations to which they would be unable or unwilling to commute or relocate. These applicants antagonize employers and fall into an unfortunate cycle of application, rejection, and discouragement.

A number of employers have commented on the importance of a strong work ethic and good communication skills, as many skilled trades require teamwork, problem-solving, and interaction with the public. Although these qualities can only be fully demonstrated on the job, perceptive employers look for evidence on resumes and in interviews.

We find that many jobseekers could improve their chances of finding an apprenticeship if they were willing to consider a range of trades within the sector that interests them. Often several trades within a given sector are closely related, and skills mastered in one trade can be applied to another. For example, electronic service technicians are not residential electricians, but they do gain electrical knowledge and skills.

The right hand column of the chart below lists trades within each sector that attract relatively few jobseekers on our website. In addition, we have starred (*) trades that may be hiring in the current economic climate (e.g. appliance service technicians may be in demand as people decide to keep and maintain rather that replace household appliances).

 

Many Job Seekers

Fewer Job Seekers

Construction

 

            
·         Electrician
·         Plumber
·         Refrigeration & AC Mechanic
·         Carpenter
 

 
·         Roofer
·         Sheet Metal Worker
·         Sprinkler and Fire Protection Installer
·         Terrazzo, Tile & Marble Setter
·         Bricklayer
·         Construction Craft Worker
 

Motive

 

·         Auto Service Technician
·         Auto Body Collision and Damage Repairer*
·         Automotive Glass Technician
·         Small Engine Technician
·         Transmission Technician
·         Truck and Coach Technician*
·         Truck Trailer Service Technician*
·        Alignment and Brakes Technician

Industrial

 

·         Industrial Electrician
·         Industrial Mechanic Millwright
 
·         Electrical Control Builder
·         Fitter
·         General Machinist
·        Cabinetmaker
·         CNC Operator Programmer
·         Draftperson
·         Mould Maker
·         Tool & Die Maker

Service

 

 

·         Network Cabling Specialist
·         Telecommunications Installer & Repairer
·        Child Development Practitioner
·         Appliance Service Technician*
·         Electronics Service Technician*
·         Arborist
·         Baker
·         Cook
·         Horticulturalist
·         Pool and Hot Tub Installer


What does this mean? 
To enhance chances for success, a jobseeker may wish to look at other occupations within a chosen sector or consider related occupations from other sectors. Many tradespeople learn more than one trade, and often the skills demonstrated in one apprenticeship can subsequently be used in pursuit of a second apprenticeship.

For example, cabinetmaker may be of interest to those seeking carpenter apprenticeships. A number of different motive power apprenticeships can be stepping stones to becoming an auto service technician.

Our mandate at www.apprenticesearch.com is to create employer – jobseeker matches so that more people have an opportunity to begin a wide assortment of apprenticeships. We welcome serious jobseekers and encourage them to search on our site for apprenticeships in a variety of different skilled trades.

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