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Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) allows students to explore and work in apprenticeship occupations starting in Grade 11 or Grade 12 through the Cooperative Education program.  OYAP
Students must be at least 16 years of age and have 16 credits towards their Ontario Secondary School Diplomas in order to qualify for the program.

The Goals of OYAP

  • To provide students with the opportunity to start training in a skilled trade while completing the requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma;
  • To enable students to make the school to work transition by direct entry into apprenticeship training;
  • To provide employers with the opportunity to train the skilled workers they require;
  • To provide a viable solution to address the problem of skilled tradespeople shortages in general, and specifically the lack of young people joining the trades.


Consider the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program if you are a person who:

  • Learns best by doing;
  • Enjoys working with your hands;
  • Shows a strong work ethic;
  • Demonstrates a courteous, positive and responsible attitude;
  • Would like to explore career options while you are attending high school and make the transition from school to work more easily.

How is OYAP different from CO-OP?

  • OYAP is industry and employer driven
  • OYAP is governed by all policies and guidelines outlined by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training & Skills Development (MLITSD)
  • OYAP students’ Personalized Placement Learning Plans must include specific reference to the Ontario College of Trades Training Standards for the specific trade in which the student is enrolled
  • Speak to your coop teacher to see if your placement may lead to an apprenticeship

What happens when an employer agrees to sponsor me as an apprentice?

If an employer agrees to sponsor you as an apprentice, you will learn, work and perform all aspects of your trade under the supervision of a journey person and you will sign a ‘Registered Training Agreement’. This all happens while you are a coop student. Once your Registered Training Agreement is signed, you will be an official Ontario Youth Apprentice.


If you have a signed Registered Training Agreement, you must become a member of the Skilled Trades Ontario.  Membership is free while you are in high school, and you benefit from the educational resources they provide. Your coop teacher will assist you in completing the forms so that you are registered with Skilled Trades Ontario.


One of the main responsibilities of Skilled Trades Ontario is to ensure that individuals performing the skills of compulsory trades have the training and certification required to legally practise this trade in Ontario.


The Workplace Apprenticeship Training Standards are developed by Skilled Trades Ontario in consultation with representatives from the trade. The standard has been designed to support consistency and accountability within the on-the-job training process; ensuring apprentices across Ontario are developing the skills necessary for success in his/her trade. Click here for the Skilled Trades Ontario website.

Earn while you learn


Open Doors

Open Doors provides information to students, teachers, and guidance counselors regarding co-op experiences, company tours, and guest speakers available for school visits to discuss career opportunities within their respective sectors. Click on the link to learn more
open doors


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