An apprenticeship is a form of learning that consists of on the job training, work experience and formal classroom technical training.
There are various ways to become an apprentice, depending on your selected field of study. In general, an apprenticeship takes from 1 to 5 years to complete depending on the specific trade selected. The time required to complete an apprenticeship consists of both on the job training and classroom technical training. It is important that individuals research the options available for an apprenticeship in their area of interest.
The following will outline various options to become an apprentice at BCIT:
Enrol in a full time Foundation program which can vary from 13 weeks to 10 months in duration. Upon successful completion of the Foundation program, the student will be granted credit for the first level (some trades have two levels) of apprenticeship training in a specific field by the Industry Training Authority. Upon successful completion of a Foundation program, the student would be hired by a company, work full time and return to BCIT for technical training once a year until the apprenticeship is completed. A student who completes a Foundation program is highly sought after by employers as the student has attained the necessary skills to be immediately productive on the work site.
Foundation is available in more than 20 trades at BCIT which ladder into apprenticeship training.
If an employee and employer agree to enter into a contract for apprenticeship, the employee or employer may contact the Industry Training Authority to register as an apprentice. The apprentice works full time for the employer and attends technical training at BCIT. For example, an Electrical apprentice would attend technical training 10 weeks a year, over a four year period to complete an apprenticeship. When the apprentice is not attending technical training s/he would be working to obtain the practical skills necessary to complete the apprenticeship requirements.
Apprenticeship Training is available in more than 20 trades.
BCIT diploma containing a cooperative education (co-op) component
A student completes a BCIT full-time Diploma program, containing a co-op component. Co-op provides a student with relevant industry work experience. After completing the Diploma, the student would be hired by an employer. Depending on the co-op program, a student can receive credit for level 1, 2, and 3 of apprenticeship technical training. For some co-op programs the student will receive credit for all four levels of apprenticeship training and therefore no further technical training would be required. The student would fulfill the required practical on the job training to complete their apprenticeship. The amount of required practical training varies according to the specific apprenticeship.
The following three co-op programs are available to apprentices:
Benefits of Apprenticeship Training
- Earn while you learn. Eighty per cent (80%) of apprenticeship training is on the job.
- Skilled trade workers/journeypersons are in demand. This demand will increase in the future. Demand is provincial, national and global.
- Most apprentices are eligible for Employment Insurance benefits while attending classroom technical training.
Choosing a Trade
If you are unsure of what trade is for you, visit Program Advising for tips on researching and choosing a trade.