Cambrian re-offers successful pre-apprenticeship carpentry program

MANITOULIN—Career opportunities abound in the trades and one of the most accessible trades will soon be even more accessible with the launch of a pre-apprenticeship carpentry program hosted by Cambrian College and Wiikwemkoong’s Ontario Works office that will be open to students from across Manitoulin.

“We offered the program before, in 2016, and it proved to be so successful that we decided to apply for funding when the opportunity came up again,” said Judy Proulx, training coordinator for the Espanola and Manitoulin campuses. “There is always a call for pre-apprenticeship training.”

There were 11 students who graduated from the 2016 intake, noted Ms. Proulx, and many of those students went on to work for Wiikwemkoong housing, but while the program is being offered in Wiikwemkoong, it is open to any students who meet the qualification requirements.

Unlike many trades today that require Grade 12, in order to enter the carpentry apprenticeship program applicants only need Grade 10 and the initial 20 weeks of academic upgrading and work readiness training are designed to tackle even that potential barrier. The pre-apprenticeship program is also aimed at those students who may have been out of school for a while, perhaps have their Grade 10, but who may need to brush up on their skills a bit in order to be successful in a carpentry apprenticeship.

In order to qualify for the program, those 16 years of age or older are invited to apply and are assessed by the college, a process that usually takes less than two hours.

“Once they are accepted into the program they receive 38 weeks of training, and it is absolutely free,” said Ms. Proulx. “Not only that, the students are supplied with the textbooks, safety equipment and tools that they need.” In addition to the 20 weeks of academic upgrading and work readiness training, students receive eight weeks of Level One carpentry apprenticeship training, two weeks of introductory training in welding and best of all, each of the students receives an eight-week work placement as part of the course, which more often than not leads to an employment opportunity.

The target intake for the course is 16 individuals, although the college is hoping to fill more places than that. The anticipated start date is February 12, although that may be extended slightly if necessary. “We can probably manage to fit someone in a little later than the start of the course if there is a space available,” noted Ms. Proulx, so calling in to see if a space is available is a good idea even after that tentative deadline.

“We are really just so excited about the success we had with the program the last time and we are looking forward to offering again in 2018,” said Ms. Proulx. “This is a great opportunity it for people who are looking to enter the carpentry field.”

To register for the pre-apprenticeship carpentry program, or to find out more, contact the Little Current office of Cambrian College at 705-368-3194.