When you are laid off, first you need to understand whether you are a permanent lay-off or a temporary lay-off (See Work Smart Ontario for more information). Temporary lay offs typically have a return date listed on your Record of Employment (ROE).
Next, you will need to file for Employment Insurance. Remember that there is a 2 week waiting period for payment of benefits to begin, so if you are laid off for less than 2 weeks, you may not qualify for EI benefits.
To file your claim for Employment Insurance benefits, visit the Service Canada website and follow the steps. You do not need to have your Record of Employment at the time of filing but it will make the process easier for you.
This is an important step that you may not consider when you are laid off but is critical for your apprenticeship.
You must ensure that you have:
Keeping this information up-to-date while the content is fresh in your mind will make your records more up to date and accurate. This will also be important when discussing your situation with your Employment Training Consultant at the MTCU Apprenticeship Branch.
Your union is established to protect your employment rights and therefore, needs to be aware if you are laid off.
Many unions will organize block training classes to cover the time during the lay off. Other unions will assist in finding another employer or contractor to work for. It is up to you to let them know about your situation.
Once you have established that you are being laid off indefinitely, it is a good idea to contact your Employment Training Consultant (ETC) at the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities - Apprenticeship Branch. Since they are responsible for overseeing your apprenticeship, they need to know whether your training has been suspended or not.
Once your ETC is aware of your situation, you can discuss training options, including in-school block training when available. Other times, upgrading your skills in related fields might be useful (for example, green technology) or pre-certification courses to prepare for your Certificate of Qualification may be suitable depending on how far you are in your apprenticeship. This will be easier if your paperwork is complete.
The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities' website is full of information regarding programs offered to Ontarians who need assistance.
If you do not know your ETC's contact information, call 1-888-JOB-GROW.
You can also find your local MTCU Apprenticeship Branch contact information on the Government of Ontario website.
GUELPH, Ont. -- Meet Mike Yeo and Tim Atkinson.
The two Hamilton men are both are new to the trucking business, and both have recently signed on with Guelph, Ont.'s MacKinnon Transport.
Nothing out of the ordinary right? Just a couple of newly minted AZs on the road, learning the ropes as they go along for one of Canada's top trucking outfits.
In fact, these guys represent what will hopefully be the standard in new drivers in Ontario and across the country before too long. Both Yeo and Atkinson are the first two drivers to sign on to Ontario's new Voluntary Apprenticeship Program for Professional Truck Drivers – a program two-and-a-half years in the making that will set the standard in how new drivers are trained in Ontario and that will hopefully fill a lot of empty seats for trucking companies desperate for new -- and educated -- talent.
Yeo and Atkinson both formally signed on as apprentices with MacKinnon Transport yesterday in a ceremony that marked the program as an officially "done deal." After two-and-a-half years of meetings with all industry stakeholders, the program is now a reality.
"We've been working for some time to get an apprenticeship program going for truck drivers, and to get some recognition and standardized training to ensure the industry gets the people they need and the quality they need and try fill some of the empty seats we've got," says program chair Ray Haight, president of MacKinnon. "This is a huge day for the industry. We're very fortunate to be here today to see this thing come to fruition."
The Ontario Ministry of Education and Training lent their support to their program in an announcement last fall, but didn't officially move forward with it until Minister Chris Bentley signed off on a Grade 10 requirement that allows participants to enroll in the apprenticeship if they don't have their Grade 12.
Kim Richardson, president of KRTS truck driving school has been a stakeholder in the process and feels the wait has been worth it. "We needed to make sure there was a provision for people who want to get into the apprenticeship and do not have a Grade 12 diploma. We also needed to ensure this provision would not encourage our youth to leave school prematurely," he said.
The process for apprenticeship will take an apprentice up to a year to complete. There is also a provision for existing drivers to obtain a similar certificate called a Certificate of Competency.
The program is based on "accredited" driver curriculums like CTHRC's Earning Your Wheels and the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI).
The "finishing" program will train on a voluntary basis apprentice tractor-trailer drivers for about 12 weeks with a mentor and 40 weeks of on-the-job training. Drivers will learn to plan trips and inspect equipment, safely handle cargo, conduct routine vehicle checks, and prepare documentation, including bills of lading, border crossing security and custom forms.
Participants will also learn other critical skills, such as developing a deeper understanding of the life-style adjustments of long-distance driving, application of appropriate laws, customer service, safety regulations and the principles of the trucking business.
Human resources personnel at Ontario fleets hope the program could act as a bridge between young drivers and a good cross-border job in trucking. Currently, drivers must be 21 to qualify for U.S. service, but Canadians allow 18-year-olds, which would give them a few years experience to qualify them for U.S. runs.
The Ontario Trucking Association and the Owner-Operator's Business Association of Canada threw in their support in 2004. And the program also has the backing of unions. "With the number of drivers in the workforce that are retiring and the shortage of skilled drivers, it is of the utmost importance to replace these drivers and hire additional drivers," assistant freight director at Teamsters Canada said Bud McAulay said recently.
Yeo's quite happy with his apprenticeship status: "I decided on the apprenticeship because I didn't feel I had all the skills necessary to be able to be a professional driver right out of the AZ course. It gave me the basics and I got my licence; but the apprenticeship route is going to give me the overall knowledge of being a driver and the experience to move on."
"I'm 22 years old and have my career set. I just bought my first house. None of my friends can say the same thing."
As you may already know, many Ontarians are heading to Alberta in search of jobs in a variety of sectors, including the skilled trades. Recent labour market conditions in the western provinces have created incredibly high employee demand, drawing ambitious, job-hungry workers from eastern and central Canada. This much publicized phenomenon shows no signs of slowing, as Canadians continue to migrate west in search of jobs they can't find in Ontario or the other provinces.
Now, our oil-rich fellow Canadians to the west have created a new opportunity for those interested in becoming tradespeople to get their hands dirty in an exciting new trade: the Rig Technician. If you're eager to learn the skills you'll need to get your career started and are willing to make a move, you can head west, then prepare to face the sometimes harsh weather conditions in Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C., and "Earn your Journeyman Ticket on the Rigs".
Interested? Then let's get down to the details. The oil drilling industry plays a vital role in the search for crude oil and natural gas in Canada. Canadian drilling contractors support a multi-million dollar industry that employs thousands of people on hundreds of rigs. Rig crews operate and maintain the drilling machinery, requiring teamwork and the mastering of a unique skill set to get the job done safely and efficiently.
New employees start as Leasehands or Floorhands and work their way up through the ranks, potentially reaching the status of Rig Manager. Leasehands generally start at around $20 per hour and move up to $36 per hour as a Driller, with Rig Managers earning negotiated salaries. Depending on the region of the province a crew works in, crewmembers can earn up to $55 per hour. The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors has set a recommended wage schedule that can be found here: http://www.caodc.ca/wages.htm.
Oil Rig Technicians must be capable of working outdoors in what can be very harsh conditions. The work is very labour intensive and requires applicants to be able to complete 12 hour days comprised of heavy lifting, and often dirty work. Work schedules are broken down into shifts, with most crews working 14 straight 12-hour shifts, and then having 7 days off. In the past, work on the rigs was mainly seasonal, but is now considered year-round work. The industry operates at 100% employment and volume through the autumn and winter, slows down for break up in the spring, and stays between 60-80% activity during the summer. First Aid certification and an H2S Alive (Sour Gas Safety Course) are required for all rig workers. Having First Aid certification before heading west is certainly beneficial, while hopeful Rig Technicians will likely find more opportunity to get H2S Alive training in the regions where oil drilling occurs.
The Rig Technician trade was pioneered in Alberta and British Columbia, and opportunities for apprenticeship in these provinces exist now. Saskatchewan is also experiencing growth in oil drilling operations, and legislation has been passed to make the Rig Technician a regulated trade. Work opportunities are currently available on rigs in Saskatchewan, and rig workers in Saskatchewan can also be registered as apprentices.
The Rig Technician apprenticeship has three periods. Period 1 involves training in Motorhand skills, Period 2 involves learning Derrickhand skills, and Period 3 teaches Driller skills. Each level contains 2 components that apprentices must complete. The first component is comprised of 1500 hours of on-the-job training, and is earned over 12 months, and the second component is a 4 week technical training program at a technical school. Experience as a Leasehand/Floorhand is required for registration as a Rig Technician apprentice in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
To find more information about the trade from Alberta and British Columbia, visit www.tradesecrets.org (Alberta), www.itabc.ca (B.C.), www.apprenticeshipworks.ca (Saskatchewan) and www.enform.ca for details regarding overall industry training.
If you're interested in the opportunities this new trade offers, visit www.caodc.ca and find out how you can get started!
New Trades for New Times at Microskills
Job seekers have often heard the refrain: "You have the training, but no work experience", or "You have the work experience, but not the training". Apprenticeship is a perfect way to overcome that Catch-22 barrier. Microskills, a non-profit organization located in Etobicoke Ontario, has designed a program in collaboration with Dixon Hall and Job Connect that builds on the benefits of apprenticeship. The program helps low-income or recent immigrant women to enter the Information Technology field. Program participants also obtain their Level 1 Common Core Curriculum requirements for an Information Technology Apprenticeship.
The impact of technology on the office has led to an overall decline in basic clerical level positions, and a growing need for workers to become "tech savvy" in order to have a chance at higher paying jobs with career potential. The Information Technology Training for Women program provides Basic, Standard or Advanced training based on the results of entry-level diagnostic assessments for applicants to the course. Each of these programs differs in duration, but all prepare women for a variety of industry-recognized certifications in the technology field, such as Comp TIA A+, Microsoft Office Specialist, Microsoft Certified System Administrator, and Network+.
Participants can choose to specialize in Help Desk, Hardware or Network Administration. As part of the course, women participate in ten to twelve week co-op work placements throughout the GTA. Some participants have completed the course and re-located to take full-time employment. Canadian businesses can find real benefits in hiring foreign trained individuals with this course behind them, since their new recruit will bring not only "tech savvy" to the job, but language capabilities, diverse cultural awareness and networks that may help Canadian business penetrate foreign markets.
Lyn Wolverton, an Employment Consultant who works with students enrolled in Information Technology Training for Women at the Women's Enterprise and Resource Centre, takes a holistic approach to bringing participants up to Canadian business standards. She may arrange for foreign credential evaluation for course participants, or for a GED to help someone upgrade to Grade 12. She also books speakers to address the class on such as topics as financial management, and has arranged for on-site Microsoft testing certification. Whether the issue is transportation, evaluation of language skills, childcare, handling cultural differences or accessing appropriate clothing for the office, Lyn helps to identify and resolve barriers well before the 40, 48 or 52 week program has been completed.
The current program participants are women with an average age of forty, some with children, and include clients on CPP disability, single parents on social assistance, and foreign trained professionals with engineering and other post-graduate degrees. Course participants are often referred from Dixon Hall, from LINC programs, and by other community partners. Participants benefit from their connection to Microskills, an organization that has operated in the community for over 20 years, and provides services to 6,000 clients per month in their Employment Resource Centre, including LINC programs, on-site daycare and the services of a settlement worker.
Program participants also benefit from the assistance of Huda Abuzeid, a Job Connect co-ordinator who, using funds provided by the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities, focuses on integrating internationally trained professionals into the workplace in Ontario and beyond. When a participant finishes the program, and finds employment on their own or with assistance from Lyn or Huda, an MTCU Apprenticeship Consultant will visit the place of business and register them as an Information Technology apprentice. Employers who hire apprentices in this field are also eligible for an apprenticeship training tax credit.
Microskills will run their next Advanced level Information Technology Training for Women program beginning on July 27th, for 40 weeks. Information sessions about the program are held every Friday at Microskills, 7 Vulcan Street, Etobicoke, ON, www.microskills.ca. To find out more about the program, contact Rodica at 416-2477181 ext 245, or e-mail her at email@example.com.