Apprenticeship, training, and certification
by Gloria Welton
What is apprenticeship?
Apprenticeship is a unique post-secondary training opportunity to earn while you learn. It is a combination of 20 percent in-school training and 80 percent on-the-job work experience under the supervision of a journeyperson.
It is a partnership between industry, educational institutions, and government. PEI has 58 designated trades.
For more information, contact an Apprenticeship Training Officer:
Kenneth MacDougall, 902-888-8034
Farm Technician program is a success
The PEI Farm Technician Apprenticeship Program is a Blue Seal program for farm workers that combines classroom time with on-the-job training.
The revised program includes five weeks of classroom training per year for two years. For the remainder of the year, the apprentice works full time with a farm employer.
“I like the opportunity to turn farming into a trade,” says participant Matthew Canfield, who will write his apprenticeship test this June. “It makes sense for me to take it.
“I intend to stay in this industry. I love it. There are pictures of me, four or five years old, sleeping on the tractor next to my father while he was working.”
The 31-year-old man originally from Westmoreland, PEI is a fourth-generation farmer. His family raised livestock and then turned to growing potatoes, grains and barley. His family stopped farming years ago, and Matthew continued working on farms in Kensington and Mount Albion.
The Farm Technician Apprenticeship program lets Island farm workers learn new skills and receive recognition for existing skills. Participants have access to training for licensing in key areas, including farm equipment use and maintenance, food safety, farm management, pesticide use, soil and nutrient management, and more.
“The improvements in farming have come a long way since I was a young boy and will only continue to be more impressive as the years go by,” Matthew says. “I found the farm management training interesting because I would like to manage a farm in the future.”
The PEI Agriculture Sector Council has managed the Farm Technician program for nine years. Twenty-three people enrolled last year, up from 18 people two years ago.
“We have encouraged some participants get their GEDs,” says Laurie Loane, the council’s Executive Director. “One person is going to Holland College and five are now eligible to write their Blue Seal tests.
“The PEI farming community has been very supportive of us, and Nova Scotia is thinking of developing a similar program.
“We hope to offer the program again in the fall of 2016.”
For more information, call the PEI Agriculture Sector Council at 1-866-892-1091 or visit www.peiagsc.ca.
For more information about Apprenticeship, visit www.gov.pe.ca/ial/apprenticeship.
The Farm Technician Apprenticeship Program is funded in whole or in part through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
Help to prepare for apprenticeship and Red Seal exams
“Job demands are increasing,” says Lori Johnston. “The question is, do staff have the foundational skills to keep up with these demands?
“Essential skills such as reading, writing, math, and computer literacy are very important for apprentices on the job, during training, and when preparing for block release exams or certification exams.
“Just like a foundation of a house, other skills can be built on top of strong essential skills.”
Workplace Learning PEI helps people improve their essential skills. “People who are having difficulty writing their block release or Red Seal exams may be referred to us by the provincial Apprenticeship Training program.
“People may have all the technical trade skills but have trouble with the exams for various reasons.
“We help them work on those areas so they can succeed with the exams and carry forward to further success in their careers.
“We do an assessment with the tradesperson to look at their skills to see where they are having difficulty. We help to narrow down and pin-point what help is needed. They may need to learn how to deal with multiple choice exams. Or the difficulty may be specific to the trade.
“We also provide support. We have on-line system which the tradesperson can use to practice and be coached by a staff member.”
Resources for employers working with an apprentice
A number of essential skills tools are available for employers. “A tip sheet about using essential skills on the job is available for each trade,” says Lori.
“This is good information for the employer, employee, and the journeyperson working with the apprentice.”
For more information, call 368-6498. Visit www.workplacelearningpei.com.
|For more information about Apprenticeship on PEI, click here or call:
Charlottetown Apprenticeship Office: 902-368-4460
Summerside Apprenticeship Office: 902-888-8034
|Click to watch videos about the Trades on PEI.|
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