Next Steps for the Laid Off Apprentice

When you have been working for a company for a period of time and suddenly receive notice that you are being laid off, it can feel devastating and overwhelming and you may not know where to begin to pick up the pieces. These are common reactions, which has led in collaboration with the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities - Apprenticeship Branch to make this transition easier by summarizing a few simple steps to getting back on your feet and into the workforce.

Essential First 3 Steps:

1) File for Employment Insurance (EI) and Obtain your Record of Employment (ROE)

When you are laid off, first you need to understand whether you are a permanent lay-off or a temporary lay-off. Temporary lay offs typically have a return date listed on your Record of Employment (ROE).

Next, you will need to file for Employment Insurance. Remember that there is a 2 week waiting period for payment of benefits to begin, so if you are laid off for less than 2 weeks, you may not qualify for EI benefits.

To file your claim for Employment Insurance benefits, visit the Service Canada website and follow the steps. You do not need to have your Record of Employment at the time of filing but it will make the process easier for you.

2) Ensure all Apprenticeship-Related Paperwork is Complete

This is an important step that you may not consider when you are laid off but is critical for your apprenticeship.

You must ensure that you have:

  • All hours accounted for while working in your position
  • Any objectives, skills and hours signed off by your employer, if complete
  • Referral letters (on letterhead) from your supervisor stating hours completed, start and end dates of employment and any other relevant information
  • Record of Employment (remember EI requires the original for processing)
  • An organized file with all relevant information relating to your apprenticeship

Keeping this information up-to-date while the content is fresh in your mind will make your records more up to date and accurate. This will also be important when discussing your situation with your Employment Training Consultant at the MTCU Apprenticeship Branch.

3a) Contact your Union (If Unionized)

Your union is established to protect your employment rights and therefore, needs to be aware if you are laid off.

Many unions will organize block training classes to cover the time during the lay off. Other unions will assist in finding another employer or contractor to work for. It is up to you to let them know about your situation.

3b) Contact your MTCU Employment Training Consultant (ETC)

Once you have established that you are being laid off indefinitely, it is a good idea to contact your Employment Training Consultant (ETC) at the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities - Apprenticeship Branch. Since they are responsible for overseeing your apprenticeship, they need to know whether your training has been suspended or not.

Once your ETC is aware of your situation, you can discuss training options, including in-school block training when available. Other times, upgrading your skills in related fields might be useful (for example, green technology) or pre-certification courses to prepare for your Certificate of Qualification may be suitable depending on how far you are in your apprenticeship. This will be easier if your paperwork is complete.

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities' website is full of information regarding programs offered to Ontarians who need assistance.

If you do not know your ETC's contact information, call 1-888-JOB-GROW.

You can also find your local MTCU Apprenticeship Branch contact information on the Government of Ontario website.

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