Essential Skills
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You can take a one or two year skilled trades courses at the college-level, to learn the basics of the chosen trade.

Apprenticeship: training and experience

Training before beginning an apprenticeship
Generally  you won't need training before hand to begin an apprenticeship, but that can depend on the employer.  Some employers prefer their apprentices to be clean slates and learn skills directly from them, while others may want candidates with more experience. In the later case; taking some additional training may make you stand out to an employer. In Ontario, for example, ASETS apprenticeship coordinators can help individuals explore their options and may be able to set them up with a pre-apprenticeship program.

Pre-apprenticeship training
If you have not yet graduated, many high schools offer pre-apprenticeship courses which provide students with some basic trade skills. Most high schools also offer coop programs where you earn credits while gaining valuable experience within your chosen field.

Post secondary institutions also offer one and two year skilled trades courses which teach  the basics of the chosen trade and provide you with first hand knowledge of what to expect when you arrive on the job.

Experience in your chosen field
If you are interested in gaining experience while waiting for a position, job shadowing tradespeople can be a good way to get a feel for a specific trade.

Individuals can also look for jobs related to their field of interest. For instance if they want a job in the automotive industry why not start working as a mechanic’s assistant or work in a parts store to become more familiar with all the bits and pieces that go into automobiles.

Next time we'll talk about the kinds of wages you might be able to expect.

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