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Home Centennial College Blog 2020 March 23 Three careers you can get into before you’re even finished high school

Three careers you can get into before you’re even finished high school

car with hood up, hands reaching in

It can be a struggle to find jobs, and if you’re in high school, you want to make sure that you pick the right path to a rewarding career. The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is college’s best-kept secret, and it lets high school students who know what specific career they want to start early, and start for free, instead of waiting for graduation and paying tuition fees. Right now, Centennial College offers three Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programs:

Child and Youth Worker (CYW)

If you’re in one of these school boards, you can take part:

  • Toronto District School Board
  • Toronto Catholic District School Board

Automotive Service Technician (AST)

If you’re in one of these school boards, you can take part:

  • Toronto District School Board
  • Toronto Catholic District School Board
  • Peel-Dufferin District School Board
  • York Region District School Board

Truck and Coach (T&C)

If you’re in one of these school boards, you can take part:

  • Toronto District School Board
  • Peel-Dufferin District School Board
  • Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board
  • York Region District School Board
  • York Catholic District School Board

If you’re a high school student in the GTA and you’re interested in one of these careers, here’s what you need to know about the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program:

How it works

To become an Automotive Mechanic, or Truck and Coach Technician, or an Early Childhood Educator, you need your ticket in: A license, which makes it legal for you to work there. In order to get that license, you need to pass three levels of training. With OYAP, you can get started on that training while still in high school. These are intensive college-based programs for people who want their career and have committed themselves to get it. You’ll need to apply and be interviewed to make sure you have that level of commitment.

The path of each of these is to learn for one year to get your Level 1 training, then work over the summer in a job placement, then come back to school for the second year’s Level 2 Training, then go back to placement work again, and once you finish that third year, do a provincial exam that you need 70% to pass and get your certification.

You get to start your education early

OYAP replaces a semester of high school and lets you jumpstart your way into a paying career, with real working experience. Most of these programs are taught on a Centennial College campus, and even when they’re not, you’re taught by Centennial instructors. Instead of starting after high school, you get started while you’re in high school. You’ll get a job faster, start making money faster, and get your life moving faster.

You learn on the job

In an apprenticeship program, you’re getting real experience and training on-the-job. While you’re still doing classroom learning, you’re spending more time at work, whether it’s in an auto or truck shop, or in a childcare centre. Either way, you’re learning by working.

It’s free!

Thanks to funding from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, the first year of an OYAP program is 100 percent free of charge, no tuition, so if you can get in, it won’t cost you a dime. The later years come at a cost, however, by that point, you’re working at an apprenticeship and getting paid for your work, so you’ll have a source of income.

It’s a path to a career

If you don’t go through OYAP training, you can still do apprenticeships, but the waitlist could be long, tuition and other fees will cost you, and it would be up to you to find a workplace to take you on as an apprentice. If you can get into OYAP, we can help connect you with a job and have your Level 1 training costs looked after.

What you really need for a career is a foot in the door, and that’s what OYAP can give you, by getting your journey started for you. If you’re interested, but don’t know where to start, or who to talk to, then try talking to your guidance counsellor about the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program.

Written By: Anthony Geremia