Co-operative Education

Cooperative Education is a Ministry-approved program that allows students to earn secondary school credits while completing a work placement. The program consists of a co-op course monitored by a cooperative education teacher, a related curriculum course in any subject, and a work placement.

For more information contact:
Margaret Murray - Student Success Consultant
(705) 748-4861 x 197

Cooperative Education Resources 

Cooperative Education: A Guide for

Community Partners

Cooperative Education: A Guide for Parents and Students


OYAP - Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program

The Board offers co-operative education through the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), which is funded by the Province of Ontario. OYAP provides students with detailed current information on skilled trades so that they are able to make informed career decisions.

What is OYAP?

OYAP offers students the opportunity to begin a trade apprenticeship while still in secondary school. The program is funded entirely by the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities, and is a partnership between industry, school boards, and the participating colleges.

How does OYAP work?

Generally, employers are approached by a co-op teacher from a secondary school, asking them if they would be willing to provide a workplace experience for an OYAP/co-op student for one semester. If an employer is interested in participating and has not been contacted by the school, he/she can call the OYAP Coordinator.

Students attend trade school (basic level) for 2-3 days a week and acquire hands-on experience in the workplace for 2-3 days a week. The program starts in February and runs until the end of June. Students are registered as apprentices and must be working with a qualified and/or licensed

journeyperson. Upon successful completion of the program, students will have received their basic level of in-school (trade school-basic) training, hands-on experience with an employer, and 3-4 co-op credits towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

Students participating in OYAP may start their work experience in either the fall or spring semesters. During this period of time, students acquire trade-required skills through hands-on experience with an employer in that trade. Students do not receive in-school training while participating in this model.

In June, once the students have graduated, the majority will be looking to secure apprenticeships.

Employers are often approached by the student or the OYAP Coordinator to determine willingness to sign the student on as an apprentice.

View the OYAP process chart.

Who may apply?

Students who are at least 16 years of age and have completed Grade 10 can apply for OYAP. Students in their final year of secondary school and who are on track to graduate may apply to the Accelerated OYAP Program, where they will earn their Level 1 at the College along with the dual credit. Students who have finished secondary school but wish to participate in the program may still be eligible.

Students must be up to date in their credit accumulation. To receive an OSSD, students must still complete all compulsory credits and other graduation requirements.

What are the benefits for the student?

Students earn credits towards an OSSD, while hours worked on the job are applied to journeyperson certification. In some instances, students may earn a wage during the on-the-job portion of the program.

Beginning in February, 2011, students will earn their Level 1 in the trade while also earning a dual credit in both secondary school and college.

Students may participate in some of the regular apprenticeship training courses through OYAP

What are the benefits to the employer?

Students are a good source for apprentices. Employers receive good association with a local secondary school for further employee requirements.

Employers gain the opportunity to acquire their own trained employees.

What apprenticeships are available?

Apprenticeships are available as precision machining, hairstylist, early childhood educator, automotive service technical, carpenter, cook, electrician, welder, plumber, small engine technician, and development services worker. Read descriptions, qualifications, opportunities, and requirements for each of the programs.

What are the hours and how many credits are earned?

Students receive co-op credits for the time that they spend in their work placement, based on 110 hours per credit. These hours are obtained by working a minimum of 25 hours per week.

Apprenticeship hours are acquired through time spent in the classroom and the workplace, providing that time is well documented and meets the requirements of the Training Standards for the respective trade.

How are the trades selected?

The Program is directed by a Steering Committee made up of representatives from the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, the Trillium Lakelands District School Board, the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board, Sir Sandford Fleming College, Human Resources Development Canada, The Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities, and the industry. Using information derived from industry, the committee decides which trades to offer.

What are the costs to students?

Transportation to the college may be provided, but students must find their own way to their placement. In-school training is provided by the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities. Books and equipment are provided by OYAP.

What are the costs to employers?

Employers are not required to pay students while participating in OYAP. Workers' compensation is covered by the Ministry, provided the students are working between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Outside of these hours, costs are covered by the employer, unless other arrangements are made between the co-op teacher and the employer.

What is expected of the employer?

The employer is expected to create an awareness of the expectations of the trade and provide as much hands-on training as possible, within the limitations of each individual work premise. Students must be working under the supervision of a qualified tradesperson for that specific trade.

The employer is expected to treat each employee with respect and conduct themselves in a courteous and professional manner at all times.

Co-op teachers will meet with the employer at least twice during the semester to fill out a work evaluation form for the student. The student's work progress is reviewed and recorded using the student's personal learning plan and the training standards for that particular trade.

What is expected of the student?

Students are required to adhere to company start and break times and to notify the employer well in advance if there is some reason that the student will not be available for work that day. Students should be striving to acquire as much hands-on trade experience as possible, while keeping in mind that menial tasks are all a part of the job and must be done in the same professional manner as any other tasks.

How does a student apply for OYAP?

  1. Attend information sessions
    • Attend information session with OYAP Coordinator
    • Obtain information from Guidance and Co-op Department
  2. Sign Accelerated Program Awareness Form
    • Both the student and parents/guardians sign the awareness form
  3. Sign the Board OYAP Application Form
    • The student, parents/guardians, Guidance Counsellor, and Principal sign the Board application form and return it to the secondary school co-op education teacher by the third Friday in April
  4. Sign the OYAP Regional Application Form
    • The student, parents/guardians, Guidance Counsellor, and Principal sign the application form and return it to the secondary school co-op education teacher by the third Friday in April
  5. Prepare a portfolio
    • The portfolio will include a resumé, cover letter, transcript of secondary school marks to date, attendance record, and letters of recommendation from previous employers and tech teacher if possible
  6. Prepare for the interview
    • The co-op department will assist with interview preparation
    • An optional interview opportunity is available from Human Resources Development Canada
  7. Complete an interview with the prospective employer
    • Determine date of interview and arrive in appropriate attire
  8. Gain acceptance to OYAP
    • The student will be notified of acceptance by the co-op teacher
    • The student will receive a formal letter of acceptance from the OYAP Coordinator
    • The student, parents/guardians, and teachers are invited to attend a formal indenturing ceremony, where students will be registered as apprentices and information on the program and apprenticeship will be presented