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Best practices examined for high school transition to apprenticeship

By Workplace Staff

In February 2010, Canadian Apprenticeship Forum - Forum canadien sur l'apprentissage (CAF-FCA) hosted the High School to Apprenticeship Transition in Canada forum. Participants included jurisdictional officials who administer high school to apprenticeship transition programs, school to work transition coordinators and other key apprenticeship stakeholders from across Canada. Objectives of the forum were to share program strengths and lessons learned and to identify areas for enhancing the transition from high school to apprenticeship. This report is based on findings from the discussions that took place.

According to the 2007 National Apprenticeship Survey, over seven per cent of apprentices participated in a youth apprenticeship program before leaving high school. Apprentices in underrepresented groups (women, visible minorities, apprentices with disabilities and Aboriginals) are more likely to participate in these programs than others.

Studies completed earlier by CAF-FCA also suggest that only a small percentage of apprentices enter full-time postsecondary apprenticeship programs through high school to apprenticeship transition programs. Yet research from the Canadian Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) Council shows that apprentices who take part in some form of pre-apprenticeship training, including high school to apprenticeship transition programs, are more likely than those without such training to complete their apprenticeship.

Key findings include the need to:

    -   Communicate the benefits of participating in transition programs

    -   Recognize learner achievements

    -   Get buy-in from key players

Participants also recommended the following:

    -   Host information sessions for parents on post-secondary options for


    -   Validate learners' progress in apprenticeship transition programs by

        offering certificates, passport programs, apprenticeship awards and

        other incentives

    -   Enhance the performance of high school to apprenticeship transition

        programs by increasing flexibility and adaptability.

To read the entire report and learn how you may play a role in this initiative, visit

Funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program, CAF-FCA is the only inclusive national body that brings together all players in apprenticeship training. CAF-FCA works under the guidance of its Board of Directors, who represent every aspect of the apprenticeship community. Our work has brought to light a number of key issues that affect apprenticeship training - such as perceived barriers to training; the business case for apprenticeship; and the importance of promoting apprenticeship training as a valued and respected choice for post-secondary education. For further information, visit

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