June 20, 2012
Carpenters’ union hosts pre-apprenticeship program
Last week marked the fourth year that the Carpenters Union Local 18 hosted the pre-apprenticeship applicant carpentry program.
“Over the past few years that we have run these courses our success rate of bringing new recruits into the apprenticeship program is about 95 per cent,” said Matt Creary, Local 18 financial secretary, in a release.
Open to anyone with a Grade 10 education equivalency, though a Grade 12 is preferred, the course includes two days of safety training, including working at heights, WHMIS and an introduction to construction safety on power tools and other equipment.
Students also have two days of hands-on training in footings layouts for formwork, wood framing and possibly drywall installation if time permits.
Students passing the week-long course are put on the union’s job placement list.
The students must complete 450 hours with a contractor — a three-month probation period — at which time they can be registered with the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities Apprenticeship Branch to become a recognized registered apprentice.
Participants are evaluated on attendance, attitude and aptitude, says Creary.
Jobs aren’t always nearby so the pre-apprentices must be prepared to travel some distance — often in the Niagara region.
Prior to the development of the pre-apprenticeship program, the union simply screened applicants for apprenticeship based on resumes. That didn’t prove the best method, however.
“You can’t decipher from a resume alone if an applicant is well suited for the trade,” said Creary.
The pre-apprenticeship course is “a way of weeding out people who think they want to be in the trade but don’t have the aptitude,” he added.
While it is not a banner year in the industry so far, there is still a reasonable amount of work around, says Creary.
He added that the 2012 man hours are projected to register at just over 1.2 million, where in 2011 Local 18 exceeded 1.3 million man-hours of production.
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