Understanding Trades Training
A foundation program allows you to learn the basic knowledge and skills needed for entry into a trade. It is typically taught in both a classroom and in-school shop setting. You do not need an employer sponsor to participate. In fact, one of the main reasons to complete a foundation program is to gain some experience and familiarity with the trade to make it easier for you to find an employer who will sponsor your apprenticeship.
Foundation programs were previously called Entry Level Trades Training (ELTT) programs. They cover material related to one or more apprenticeship programs and generally also provide credit towards completion of an apprenticeship. For example, if you complete the Piping foundation program, you will receive credit for level 1 technical training and 375 work-based training hours when you register as an apprentice in either the Plumber, Steamfitter/Pipefitter or Sprinkler System Installer programs.
Apprenticeship training is for those currently working in the industry, and are indentured into a formal agreement between their employer and the Industry Training Authority. Students must have a valid ITA individual identification number (obtained from the Industry Training Authority).
Apprenticeship is paid, work-based training, usually combined with post-secondary education. Typically, about 80 to 85 percent of an apprenticeship is made up of work-based training and the other 15 to 20 percent is made up of technical training taken in a classroom and shop setting. The length of an apprenticeship can range from one to five years, but most require four years to complete.
Successful completion of both components, along with examinations, is required before an apprentice earns a certificate or ticket, and becomes a certified tradesperson in his or her trade.
Many trades, known as the Red Seal trades, have nationally recognized certification standards. The credentials of a certified tradesperson who has successfully earned a Red Seal ticket are recognized across Canada.