Many students expect to continue their education at college or university, and parents assume this as well. Yet the reality is that most of our students do not go to college or university directly following high school. Deciding which path to pursue can be challenging as well as confusing, which is why many of our students choose to take a gap year, and others enter into the workforce.

Every school in Ontario provides Cooperative Education opportunities for your teen to investigate the world of work. Many valuable community networks begin when students participate in a community placement during secondary school. Encourage your teen to apply for Cooperative Education and/or the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program at their high school.

OYAP is both a demanding and a rewarding choice for bright, eager teens who wish to investigate or jump-start their careers. OYAP also addresses the growing shortages in technology and the skilled trades, which have been articulated by business, industry and labour. OYAP works best for everyone involved because it provides a healthy balance between the demands of school and the demands of the work environment.

To succeed in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, a mature commitment to both school and the workplace is essential. Your teen will be expected to have regular and punctual attendance, respect for authority, and a sincere focus on learning the required skills.

As a parent, you want to provide your teen with the best possible tools to make important decisions. OYAP is a valuable tool which can assist your teen in discovering his/her talents, abilities, and interests.

Consider these points:

  • Apprenticeships are often the first step in a career path which can lead to supervisory, administrative or management positions, or to a self-employed business career.
  • The skilled trades offer well paid career opportunities and the potential for job satisfaction in challenging careers to bright, motivated students.
  • Students who participate in OYAP will be trained in a specific set of skills leading to a registered apprenticeship program and will be able to obtain apprenticeship hours, new skills and high school credits at the same time.
  • The knowledge and talent of the partners involved in OYAP creates the best possible learning in state-of-the-art training environments for apprentices in the program.


Apprenticeship training is funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.