DCN ARCHIVES

March 19, 2007

College apprenticeship program gaining favour

Centennial College’s Co-Op Diploma Apprenticeship Program is receiving an additional $957,000, a “tremendous benefit” to keep classroom materials up-to-date for training heavy equipment technicians.

Centennial is one of 14 colleges receiving funding that opens an additional 700 new spaces and 21 new programs for a boost in skilled trades training.

The program was launched in 2004/05 and combines a college diploma with apprenticeship training, directly leading to a Certificate of Qualification.

The construction industry benefits from the heavy duty equipment technician trade offered at the college, which provides students who are fresh out of high school two semesters’ worth of lessons in-class and eight months of on-the-job training.

Courses focus on engine, drive-train, hydraulic and fuel systems in heavy equipment.

“It’s an opportunity that wouldn’t be there (for youth) because heavy equipment is dominated by traditional apprentices, where people have to find that first job,” said Wayne Kerr, Chair of Modified Apprenticeship Programs and Corporate Training at Centennial College.

Kerr adds that Centennial College has had tremendous support from the industry including heavy equipment companies like Toromont Cat offering scholarships and sponsorship.

“It’s great for the students and it helps us build apprenticeship capacity in the province of Ontario,” Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, Chris Bentley told Daily Commercial News. “The program is a new way to get into the trades.

“The enthusiasm has been building and the response has been great.”

Centennial College’s program has experienced an increase in applicants. Kerr said 91 applicants have applied for a class of 20 he is teaching next semester.

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