Co-op Programs for the Trades in Ontario

Co-op Programs for the Trades in Ontario

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Getting a job can be difficult, especially for people with little or no experience. When job seekers apply for work in the trades, it can help to show some skill in that field. One way of doing that is through a co-op program. With a co-op program in the trades, students can learn the basics of their field while practicing the technical skills they need for the future.

A co-op program is one that includes both class sessions and practical work. Often, these programs alternate a semester of studies with a semester of work. That way, students have the chance to learn the skills they need for work while also gaining the theoretical background that can help them gain a better overall understanding of the field.

Suppose that you want to become a plumber or an electrician. You could learn the techniques from a book or a video on the Internet. However, being able to do the work on the job is different. In many cases, people must work quickly to get the job done on time, and they need to know as much as possible. If you studied in a co-op program, you would be able to learn both the theory and practice of your profession.

Like other parts of Canada, Ontario has various opportunities for co-op programs in the trades. The Co-op Diploma Apprenticeship Program, or CODA, is one example. This program is designed to match young people with employers who can provide apprenticeship opportunities. At the same time, participants can gain an associated college diploma. Earning this diploma can give students better career opportunities and the background necessary for learning the procedures for the job.

A second co-op opportunity is the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program. This program is for students in Grades 11 or 12 who want to enter the trades. Through this program, students can begin their apprenticeships while they are still finishing high school. That way, they will already be well on their way to being able to work in a trade much sooner than might otherwise be possible.

For many people, having an early start on a career can be beneficial. With extra time to get established, apprentices can take longer to finish their program if they wish, or they can start to build up experience in their field. Sometimes, students might even discover that they are not suited to the trade that they have chosen. In that case, beginning a co-op program early can help. Most trade training is in one of four categories: construction, industrial, motive power, and service.

Many high schools and colleges have their own co-op programs. Before deciding on a program, it is important for you to ensure that all the necessary training is available in the course of study and work that you intend to pursue. For example, if you want to learn a particular type of electrical work, you should ensure that it is part of the course work and practical experience in the program.

Before you begin a co-op program, you should consider how well it suits your needs. If you need more theoretical background than it offers, you might want to choose a different program or take some extra courses. The same is true if the program offers too little practical experience or the wrong type of work for what you need.

Each person has different ideas of what to get out of a co-op program. However, in general these programs offer a good chance to get a solid background of both theoretical learning and practical experience. If this idea appeals to you, a co-op program in the trades might be your best choice for starting your career.



Employment Ontario. “Co-op Diploma Apprenticeship Program (CODA).”  http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/eopg/programs/coda.html.

Madawaska Valley High School. “Co-op and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program.” https://mvd.rcdsb.on.ca/en/programsservices/co-op-and-ontario-youth-apprenticeship-program.asp.

Ontario.ca. “Skilled Trades in Ontario Schools.” https://www.ontario.ca/page/skilled-trades-ontario-schools.

Ontario Colleges. “Skilled Trades Programs and Careers in Trades.” https://www.ontariocolleges.ca/en/apply/skilled-trades

Study in Canada. “An Introduction to Co-op Education.” https://www.studyincanada.com/News/11/1510/Redirect.

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