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Home School of Transportation Blog 2014 February 18 Students who obtain careers before program enrolment

Students who obtain careers before program enrolment

Male Heavy Duty Equipment student works outside and holds a measuring equipment


Students go to school to obtain a career, hopefully with a profession, company, and industry in mind. Some use college as a way of exploration in various opportunities. The knowledge and skills learned in school are valuable to employers, but there may still be some qualifications that cannot be specified in school since they are internal to the company. Wouldn’t it be great if you know who you would work for, so you can tailor your learning for that company?

There is a path for students in the School of Transportation, where they are employed first before enrolling into the programs. The following companies partnered with Centennial to provide their employees further education while still working as apprentices: Canadian Tire, Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited, General Motors of Canada, Honda Canada Inc., and Toyota Canada. Each company offers the Automotive Service Technician program through a modified apprenticeship. Most of the programs involve 32 weeks in class, learning about motor vehicle gear trains, electrical/electronics & fuel systems, engine systems, suspension/steering and brakes, and work practices and procedures. Others have four eight-week blocks of class time, alternating with apprenticeship work terms.

These students are more than just mechanics, but with a broad spectrum of knowledge as technology advances the way they operate in the workplace.  They have the experience, but gain more in-depth academic training and further practical training through the college system. Since this is a skilled trade, the government offers them with up to $4000 in various grants and tax incentives. Meanwhile, employers can claim $48,000 over four years in various federal and provincial tax incentives. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.

Learning is at its best when students dive into practicing their trade. Students can only graduate once they have successfully completed a checklist of skills performed in their apprenticeship. They continue to work with their employers, with college education on their credential and having a broader sense of understanding of why they perform the tasks, giving them more critical and analytical skills to solve various work issues.