Where does the Journey Start?

What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and classroom learning that leads to a trade credential – or “ticket”. Once you complete your apprenticeship and receive your ticket, you are qualified to work in a skilled trade. You can be an apprentice during high school or after you graduate.

Apprenticeship training helps you get a Certificate of Qualification (CoQ), which is accepted across BC. About 50 trades also offer an Interprovincial (IP) Red Seal, which certifies you to work across Canada.
Learn more about the Red Seal Program.

How long is an apprenticeship?
Most apprenticeships take four years to complete, depending on the trade.

What does certification mean?
Upon completion of classroom training, on-the-job hours, and a final exam, a certified journeyperson will confirm your skill level and competence. Once you receive your ticket, whether Interprovincial Red Seal, or BC Certificate of Qualification, you’ll be recognized by colleagues and the public as a skilled professional in your trade.

Is an apprenticeship work or school?
It is both. Apprentices spend about 80% of their time learning on the job. That means you earn money while you learn. About 20% of your apprenticeship is spent in classroom-based training – also known as technical training.
Here’s a typical apprenticeship pathway:

Typical pathway

What is the ITA?
The Industry Training Authority (ITA) leads and coordinates British Columbia’s skilled trades system. ITA works with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and government to issue credentials, manage apprenticeships, set program standards, and increase opportunities in the trades.

Who trains apprentices?
Skilled trades professionals teach apprentices on the job and pass on their wisdom from years of experience in the industry.
In addition to this hands-on training, apprentices also receive classroom training at a college, university, or training institution. Class instructors are certified journeypersons with experience in the field.

Apprenticeship Guide

Apprenticeship Pathway