Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)

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You don’t have to wait until after high school to start your apprenticeship in the trades! The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) provides a way for students to begin their apprenticeship training on the job while meeting high school diploma requirements.

OYAP is a specialized program that enables full time students who are 15 years of age or older (minimum of 14 high school credits completed) to explore careers in the skilled trades (earning co-op credits in related curriculum courses) while earning valuable workplace experience in an occupation that requires apprenticeship before they graduate from high school. High school students may be officially registered as apprentices in their trade area (Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development) and begin their post-secondary apprenticeship training program. The OYAP program:


  • Offers students a school-work destination with good job prospects
  • Allows students to start their post-secondary training program while they earn their high school diploma
  • Develops student connections with employers for post-secondary employment as apprentices

Eligibility for the OYAP program

  • Full time or part-time student in a secondary school who is 16 years of age with 16 high school credits already achieved.
  • Demonstrated interest and career focus in a skilled trade
  • A positive attitude and good work ethic
  • Co-op placement in an apprenticeable trade or occupation

Opportunities presented through OYAP

  • Earn high school cooperative education credits for work experience during half-day or full-day placements
  • Make important connections in the world of work which can lead to employment opportunities
  • Begin a career in a skilled trade while in high school working towards their diploma
  • Develop trade-related competencies (based on the Training Standard for the trade) and accumulate hours toward a skilled trade* (*Ontario College of Trades recognized exemption from legislation requiring only certified journeypersons or registered apprentices to perform compulsory aspects of a trade and exemption from journeyperson-to-apprentice ratio requirements)
  • Receive Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) funding support (towards costs – safety equipment and training, transportation to work placements or Level 1 classes, etc.)
  • Potentially be registered as Ontario Youth Apprentices in their trade area (meeting Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development OYAP Administration & Accountability Guidelines) during their grade 12 school year and begin their post-secondary apprenticeship training program (Level 1 post secondary-apprenticeship training / curriculum session facilitated by MTCU)
  • Reduce post-secondary education costs by earning while learning (approximately 80 to 90% of in-school training is subsidized by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development)

Did you know?

  • tradespeople earn 3.1% more than the average Canadian
  • careers in the skilled trades reduce accumulated debt load from tuition fees
  • demand is rising quickly for tradespeople who have an aptitude in technology
  • the construction industry in Ontario is expected to rise by 43,000 workers from 2012 to 2020. An estimated 60,000 workers will be required to fill the anticipated labour shortage
  • employers who sponsor an OYAP participant (high school student exploring the trades) are exempt from journeyperson-to-apprentice ratio requirements and wage rates

Are you looking to be an OYAP employer?

Please take the time to fill out our Workplace OYAP Training Offer Template.

About OYAP

Living the Skilled Life

How the OYAP program works

In Grade 10:

Students apply for Cooperative Education and complete a screening process (i.e. interviewed by co-op teacher)

In Grade 11/12: “Regular Co-op” OYAP Participant

Students participate in a 2-credit (half day) or 3-credit / 4-credit (full day) cooperative education placement in an apprenticeable trade area. The supervisor is a licensed journeyperson in the trade. If the student demonstrates a strong interest in the trade pathway the co-op teacher can provide a Training Standard for the trade. The OYAP participant can begin to record demonstrations of learning in the trade (specific competencies/skill sets) by having the supervisor “sign-off” in their Training Standard. The Training Standards (Ontario College of Trades) are integrated into the student’s Personalized Placement Learning Plan. Note: OYAP participants in Grade 11/12 without registered training agreements are not required to become members of the Ontario College of Trades.

In Grade 12: “Regular Co-op” OYAP Participant Registered = OYAP Apprentice

The OYAP participant in grade 12 (see above) may be signed to a Registered Training Agreement (sponsored by supervisor) with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development / Ontario College of Trades. The registered OYAP apprentice can record demonstrations of learning in the trade (specific competencies/skill sets) by having the supervisor “sign-off” in their Training Standard. The Training Standards (Ontario College of Trades) are integrated into the student’s Personalized Placement Learning Plan. In addition to the above, OYAP apprentices gain:


  • Membership in the Ontario College of Trades
  • Exemption from Ontario College of Trades membership fees while in OYAP
  • Exemption from requirement to be listed on the Ontario College of Trades’ public register
  • Exemption from regulations and provisions related to complaints, discipline and fitness to practice
  • Eligibility for Level 1 apprenticeship in-school training and exemption from the classroom fee (~ $400.00)
  • Possible recognition of skills/hours from MAESD towards completion of a formal apprenticeship
  • Ability to complete apprenticeship sooner
  • Eligibility to apply for Loans for Tools program
  • Support from the MAESD Employment and Training Consultant (ETC)

In Grade 12: Specialized OYAP Program: “Accelerated OYAP”

*OYAP apprentices (as above) may have access to **accelerated OYAP Dual Credit Level 1 programs (first level of in-school training) in their trade at Algonquin College (see Dual Credit Program webpage) at no cost (tuition). Scheduled for full day co-op (compulsory OSSD credits completed and/or on-track for graduation) – these OYAP apprentices can earn up to 4 dual credits by taking part in the apprenticeship training and college courses. Students enrolled in the program earn both high school and college credits upon successful course completion. Additionally OYAP apprentices may have access to OYAP Level 1 programs (non dual-credit) through the Ontario Masonry Training Centre. These are intensive programs and only those with sufficient expertise, readiness to handle the “college level” theory and commitment to pursuing the specific apprenticeship should pursue this route.

OYAP participants with a Registered Training Agreement with an identified employer/sponsor applying to Level 1 programs in their trade area must complete a student application package (see co-op teacher for this package) to be screened for eligibility by the OCSB OYAP Coordinator.

OYAP Student Resources

Health and Safety Information

OYAP Employer Resources

Health and safety information for employers