Youth Work in Trades (SSA)

A Secondary School Apprenticeship – now called YOUTH WORK IN TRADES provides Grade 10, 11, 12 and recently graduated students with a tremendous opportunity to receive a minimum of 480 hours of paid, on-the-job training.  An apprenticeship involves a formal agreement between a student, the Industry Training Authority (ITA) and an employer / union whereby the student learns current skills and knowledge associated with a trade or occupation under the supervision of a qualified journey person.

What are the benefits to students?

In addition to starting a career and earning money while in secondary school, students who successfully complete the program receive:

  • 16 graduation credits – eight at each of the Grade 11 and Grade 12 levels:
                      •   WRK 11A, WRK 11B, WRK 12A, WRK 12B
  • Credit for the Career Life Connections – 30 hours of work experience graduation requirement
  • A wider range and scope of job-specific learning experiences than is available at school
  • 480-hours credit toward the work component in the first year of apprenticeship training
  • Eligibility for a $1,000 Ministry of Education YOUTH apprenticeship award for those who maintain a C+ or better average in all Grade 12 courses and continue with the apprenticeship after graduation, and have completed 900+ hours in the work place
  • Strengthened employment skills and a network of contacts
  • GrantsTax Benefits (Lots of financial benefits)
  • A better sense of opportunities within and related to the chosen trade or occupation

What are the responsibilities of students in the program?

Students participating in the program are responsible for:

  • Understanding and committing to apprenticeship training in a specific trade or occupation
  • Achieving academically at the level necessary to access the post-secondary training required for certification
  • Identifying an appropriate and acceptable employer
  • Completing the application process to a standard which demonstrates commitment, motivation and maturity
  • Realizing that the program does not guarantee a placement or full-term apprenticeship
  • Ensuring your employer is reporting your hours to the ITA

Application requirement: 

To apply to be registered as a YOUTH Work in Trades apprentice the student must:

  • have an interest in an apprenticeable trade which has been researched
  • be in Grade 10, 11 or 12 or recently graduated
  • be 15 years of age before the workplace-based training begins
  • be a mature and responsible student, completes assignments on time and in an organized manner
  • have permission of the parent / guardian
  • have a social insurance number
  • meet academic requirements for entry to technical training at post-secondary institutions by the end of Grade 12
  • meet the academic standards required in the selected trade
  • be responsible for his / her own transportation
  • be willing to commit two or more years to completion of the apprenticeship after secondary school graduation
  • have identified at least one appropriate and acceptable employer who has agreed in principle to hiring the student as a Youth Work in Trades Apprentice.

How can someone apply?

Interested students can obtain a registration package and general information about the apprenticeship program from the Career Education Advisor in the Career Centre at their home school, or contact, Tracey Wispinski the Burnaby District Youth Work in Trades Teacher. Two other valuable sources of information are the school counsellor and the ITA web site ( Students should discuss the application package with their parent(s) / guardian(s). Completed applications, as well as other documents in the package, should be returned to  778-918-0514

What about finding a willing employer?

Gaining employment is the student’s responsibility. He / she may already be working for an employer able to provide an apprenticeship. Family friends, school and district staff may also be helpful in identifying possible employers. If either the student or the employer is unsure of expectation for each other, a “trial” work experience or interview with the employer can be arranged. Once all parties are agreeable, the student is registered as an apprentice with the ITA, by the school district


What wages are apprentices paid?

Youth apprentices earn minimum wage or slightly better. Following graduation, an apprentice can expect to earn 50% of a journeyperson wage with yearly incremental increases over the duration of the apprenticeship.

Why register as a Youth Apprentice?

Youth Apprentices are registered to ensure that all rules governing apprenticeship apply in relation to workplace safety, appropriate training and supervision under qualified journey people, and adherence to the applicable wage scales.

Can an employer hire a student apprentice?

Yes, employers hire the apprentice.  The Youth should ask if the company is willing to sign the Youth as a YOUTH Apprentice.  Then the student should contact:  Tracey.Wispinski so she can help the student with the application.  The Industry Training Authority assesses the employer to determine if the required on-the-job training can be delivered, and if the employer has a Red Seal Journey Person.  Once the apprentice agreement is on file, the apprenticeship hours are added to the Apprentices Youth Account with the ITA.  Once a student, turns 19 the student automatically converts to an Adult apprentice.

How can I see more information about the process?

Apprenticeship Guide Book – ITA

What apprenticeship trades might a student consider?

There are over 150 apprenticeable trades / occupations. While all should be considered available, some are more accessible for Youth Work in Trades Apprentices than others. The more accessible ones include: Automotive Trades,