A new apprenticeship program is looking to address a local need for more skilled trade workers.

The Upper Canada District School Board announced that TR Leger School of Adult, Alternative and Continuing Education will be offering a Level 1 Commercial Vehicle and Equipment Apprenticeship Program, starting in October.

Principal of TR Leger Sandy McInnes says it’s their goal to get youth and young adults fresh out of high school involved in the trades. 

“Really, the end goal is to encourage both high school age and individuals who’ve recently left high school that have a commitment in the area of trades to provide them an opportunity like this through the relationship we’ve developed,” McInnes said. 

The program provided opportunities to gain skills and knowledge through in-class learning and practical experiences related to three trades.

The trades being offered include Agricultural Equipment Technician, Heavy Duty Equipment Technician, and Truck and Coach Technician. 

McInnes says the program is available to qualified students enrolled in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, or those who are working toward completing their Ontario Secondary School Diploma and interested in completing a co-op or enrolling in OYAP.

“They’ll have the firsthand experience working with both a red-seal teacher, as well as a red-seal technician in a bilingual program,” McInnes said. “And then they’ll be able to continue part-time work where they’ve already demonstrated a commitment to their area of trades.” 

The UCDSB is leading the program’s creation and delivery that will involve, and ultimately serve, four regional public school boards. 

McInnes says the program has a 20-student maximum capacity, allowing for both in-class and practical experience tailored to support the student learning experience.

 “We’re seeing the applications come in,” he said. “We just kicked off our mini-campaign on April 6 and UCDSB already has eight applicants, and the applications continue to come in with a lot of people reaching out, expressing interest.”  

To learn more about the program, or to apply, you can visit the school’s website.