Back to Diversity page

New Canadians are choosing to enter the skilled trades because it’s a great career choice in Ontario. Some are experiencing the trades for the first time, while others are continuing to work in their fulfilling trades careers by using the skills they learned before coming to Canada.

Download the PDF that explains how to work legally in a compulsory trade in Ontario:
Regulation of the Trades in Ontario (PDF)

  • Getting Started

    Do you have work experience in a skilled trade from another province, territory or country?

    A Trade Equivalency Assessment provides an opportunity for your skills, experiences and/or certifications to be assessed to place you into one of the Ontario College of Trades’ Membership Classes. This assessment will look at your past training and work experience and see if you are qualified to write the Certificate of Qualification exam for your trade. Find more info here.

    Do you need training and experience in a skilled trade? Are you looking to start a career in the trades and do not know where to start?

    The first step is starting an apprenticeship program.

    An apprentice is someone who learns a skilled trade by working and training with an experienced tradesperson. Apprentices also go to classes for training.

    An apprenticeship has both an “at work” and “in class” training element. Approximately 80% of the training is at work and 20% is in class. You get paid while working as an apprentice and are legally permitted to work in the trade under supervision.

    Benefits of Apprenticeship:

    • Earn While You Learn
    • Learn skills in high demand
    • Earn more than unskilled workers
    • Learn by doing

    Skilled Trades Bridge Training
    Bridge programs help internationally trained tradespersons become licensed and/or ready to find work in Ontario. Participants build on their past education and experience by going to classes and providing other occupation-specific training. Program completion leads to a Certificate of Qualification. To learn more about skilled trades bridge training programs available in Ontario click here.

  • Bursaries & Scholarships

    Ontario Bridging Participant Assistance Program (OBPAP) – The OBPAP gives bursaries of up to $5,000 to cover direct education costs (tuition, books and equipment) for eligible internationally trained individuals.

    Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) – The AIG is a taxable cash grant of $1,000 per year, up to a maximum of $2,000 per person, available to registered apprentices once they have successfully finished their first or second year/level (or equivalent) of an apprenticeship program in one of the Red Seal trades.

    Financial Resources for Apprentices & Tradespersons (pdf)

    Financial Resources for Employers (pdf)

  • Mentorship Opportunities

    If you want to learn from the experience of others in your field in Ontario, one of the below mentorship opportunities may be right for you:

    The Mentoring Partnership – Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council
    ALLIES National Mentoring Initiative
    The Mentoring Partnership
    Career Bridge
    Mentoring for Change

  • Useful Links

    The College’s Exam Preparation Guide – This guide will help you prepare for the Certificate of Qualification exam you need to take to become certified in your trade.

    Guide for Foreign-Trained Tradespeople – Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) – Find out about writing the exam to get a Certificate of Qualification or how to enter an apprenticeship program to upgrade your qualifications.

    Information for Foreign-Trained Workers – Red Seal – The Red Seal endorsement makes it easier for tradespeople to have their skills recognized across Canada.

    Trades in Ontario Guide – Settlement.Org – Information about regulatory and licensing bodies, credential assessments and apprenticeships.

    Newcomer Services – Microskills – Assists newcomers with integrating into Canadian society.

    Canadian Language Benchmarks – Online Self-Assessment – Assess your Canadian English online.

    Global Experience Ontario – Provides information and assistance to newcomers who have international training.

    Skills for Change – supports immigrants, refugees and Canadian citizens with settlement, mentoring, employment and training services including pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship and licensing programs.

    Power of Trades Program (YMCA-YWCA) – Offers pre-employment training and support for immigrants who want to work in the skilled trades.

    Safety Links
    Young Workers -Did you know that you have rights protecting you against workplace health and safety hazards, and to ensure that you are treated fairly? Employers and supervisors have duties under the law to protect you. Check out these resources to learn more about your rights and responsibilities on the job.

    Young Worker Awareness Program – This program is available to any high school in the province of Ontario, Canada. It has two components: a general assembly presentation and a classroom instruction segment. Both the general assembly and classroom components stress student interaction.

    Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety – You’ve got a job. Or you’re getting ready to join the work world. Either way, it’s important to be prepared. Here’s your health and safety checklist. Check out these resources so you can be ready for anything you may come across on the job.

    Workplace Safety – The Basics – Are you safe at work? Every year, hundreds of youth are injured or killed on the job, many of them within days of starting a new job. You and your employer each have rights and responsibilities for creating a safe and healthy workplace.

    Ministry of Labour – New and Young Workers

Success Stories