student working with a wood turner



The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is a School to Work program that opens the door for students to explore and work in apprenticeship occupations starting after Grade 10 (with a minimum of 14 credits) through the Cooperative Education program.

Students have an opportunity to become registered apprentices and work towards becoming certified journeypersons in a skilled trade while completing their Ontario Secondary School Diplomas. This gives them an incredible advantage as they graduate and pursue their career in the skilled trades.



Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) allows students to gain valuable skills in an apprenticeship through cooperative education.

There are three types of OYAP students:

  1. ALL STUDENTS TAKING CO-OP IN A SKILLED TRADE – An OYAP participant is defined as a student who is receiving cooperative education credits for work experience in an apprenticeship occupation. The student may or may not formally register as an apprentice while in secondary school.
  2. ANY STUDENT TAKING CO-OP WHO REGISTERS AS AN APPRENTICE – OYAP participants can start to get their trade apprenticeship hours counted towards their apprenticeship if they are registered as an apprentice with their local Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) office. Student registrations are initiated through the students’ Cooperative Education teacher at their home school. Students can apprentice in any of the 144 skilled trades in Ontario.
  3. ALL STUDENTS TAKING AN ACCELERATED OYAP LEVEL ONE PROGRAM – Students can apply to a LEVEL ONE OYAP program through their Co-op teacher. Level One in-school training is delivered through area colleges and gives students the experience necessary to start their career in one of the many skilled trades. These courses teach the curriculum for the first Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) apprenticeship course as well as the Ministry of Education expectations. Students earn both college credits as well as secondary school credits in these programs. When not at the college, students attend their co-op placement as part of their OYAP program. Students in the Level One OYAP program have signed training agreements with the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) and their placement sponsor.

Registration for 2025 Level One Accelerated will open March 4, 2024. Applications are due April 10, 2024.

Please see your Cooperative Education teacher to receive your OYAP Level One Application Package. 

Fact Sheets for individual Trades:
Why Apprenticeship OYAP Video

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 Recruiter.

Students in accelerated OYAP 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) 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.

Who may apply?

Students who are at least 15 years of age and have completed Grade 10 can apply for OYAP as a participant.

Students who are on track to graduate may apply to the Level One OYAP Program, where they will earn their Level One at a local college along with a dual credit. Students who have graduated from secondary school but wish to participate in the program may still be eligible.
Level One OYAP requires an application and interview as part of the selection process. Students interested in the Level One OYAP program need to apply in grade 11 even though the program is delivered in the second semester of the grade 12 year. The program is highly competitive and requires applicants with strong math skills. 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 Accelerated Level One Apprenticeship programs are available?

Students participating in Accelerated OYAP can be registered apprentices in any of the following trades:

  • General Carpenter
  • Industrial Mechanic Millwright
  • Hairstylist
  • Automotive Service Technician
  • Cook
  • Electrician
  • Welder
  • Plumber

What are the hours and how many credits are earned in the Level One OYAP?

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 usually 18 hours per week depending on the trade. It is imperative that the student obtain a record of their completed hours from their employer on company letterhead at the conclusion of their placement for the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) to validate their hours toward their apprenticeship.

What are the costs to students?

Transportation to the college may be provided, but students must find their own way to their placement. Books, equipment, and in-school training are funded by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) and the School College Work Initiative (SCWI)

This program is funded by the Government of Ontario.


For more information, contact our OYAP Recruiter, Bridget Girard at 705-748-4861, ext. 1172.