Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is a School to Work program that opens the door for students to explore and work in skilled trades during secondary school co-operative education placements (co-op). OYAP acts as an extension of the traditional co-op program, providing additional opportunities for students who are completing co-op placement in skilled trades. Students must be enrolled in co-op to participate in OYAP.

Use the interactive Skilled Trades Planning Tool to learn more about pathway options for the many different skilled trades certifications in Ontario.

OYAP Eligibility criteria for students interested in OYAP

  • Student must be 15 years of age or older
  • Must have completed 14 credits
  • Must be registered full-time or part-time in secondary school
  • Must complete a co-op placement in a skilled trade

Students can now complete co-op credits in the summer beginning as early as the transition summer between Grades 10 and 11 if they meet the criteria above.

Benefits of OYAP for students

  • Provides an opportunity for students to experience the skilled trades
  • Students earn credits toward their Ontario Secondary School Diploma
  • Hours worked at placement can be used as apprenticeship hours, therefore students are graduating from secondary school with hours already accumulated
  • OYAP is the only opportunity of its kind for students who have not yet graduated from secondary school to formally begin an apprenticeship. You must hold a valid OSSD to register as an apprentice outside of OYAP.
  • Students can formally sign a Registered Training Agreement (RTA), the contract between the apprentice, sponsor (co-op employer) and MLITSD, to legally become a registered apprentice while still in Secondary School
  • Students with an RTA have opportunities to access Level 1 Apprenticeship training when available
  • Get a head start on a career in the skilled trades by starting the apprenticeship journey while still in secondary school

Benefits of OYAP to employers

  • Provides an opportunity to give back to the sector and allow a student to experience the skilled trades in a real-world setting
  • OYAP provides safety training, PPE, etc. for students, eliminating some of the typical costs incurred by employers for new hires
  • Provides the opportunity to train potential future employees with no up-front costs (co-op placements are not usually paid)
  • And employee or apprentice that starts as a co-op student has been trained by the employer from the beginning, alleviating re-training issues
  • OYAP students who received their Level 1 during secondary school won't have to leave the workplace for schooling in the first years of employment and are usually positioned higher on the MLITSD contact list for additional training when available. This continues to expedite the process of apprenticeship, allowing for licensing faster than starting the process after secondary school.

For more information, visit:

OYAP website and Skilled Trades Ontario website or contact Sean Pudlis, OYAP Recruiter/Experiential Learning Coordinator at [email protected].

employment Ontario logo This program is funded by the Ontario Government through Employment Ontario