Apprenticeship is a highly rewarding experience for students and employers alike. The skills and opinions that you learn early on will shape every aspect of your future career and help to mould you into a professional. You will make friendships and form bonds that will stick with you for years, and in some cases, a lifetime. Apprenticeship is a unique opportunity for a young person to learn while they earn, and like I always say, if you are not learning at work then you are missing out on a significant portion of your compensation.
Arborist apprenticeship in Ontario consists of 2 terms of schooling, plus around 3 years of work experience, for a total of 6000 hours. The schooling runs for 12 weeks, from January to March, and then again the following year, January to March. Your apprenticeship is regulated by the Ontario College of Trades. Both the employer and apprentice are required to sign official paperwork with the College to register the apprentice, who can then get on a waiting list to get into school. During their apprenticeship, the student must be a member of the College of Trades and pay a yearly fee of $60 + tax.
Upon signing up, the apprentice receives a large training standards book which breaks down all of the individual skills that an apprentice is expected to learn and master during their apprenticeship. Each skill must be signed and dated by the employer upon completion. After completing their training, and with their training standards book fully filled out with every skill signed off, the apprentice can go back to the College of Trades to register for a final exam. The College will verify with the employer that the apprentice has put in the time and is deemed competent in all required skills. The apprentice then has to pay an exam fee and schedule the final exam at a designated exam location. Upon successful completion of the final exam, the former apprentice becomes a Journeyman (Journeyperson?). See below for detailed information from the College of Trades:
This is an overview of the Arborist Apprenticeship program in Ontario from the College of Trades:TFS_Arborist_June2015.pdf
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This is a copy of the actual book that the apprentice receives when they sign with an employer. Training Standards for an Arborist in Ontario:TS-Arborist_444A_EN
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Further information is available directly from the Ontario College of Trades, here.
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