OYAP Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program

construction workers

What is OYAP?

young woman OYAP student

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) provides a means for students to kick-start their careers and gain practical experience in various highly skilled trades.

This article aims to provide an in-depth understanding of OYAP, including its program overview, eligibility criteria, benefits, application process, and its availability in different trades and regions.

Whether you’re a student, parent, or teacher, read on to discover the possibilities that OYAP holds for Ontario’s youth.

What are the goals of OYAP?

The Ontario government’s stated goals for the program are as follows:

  • To provide students with the opportunity to start training in a skilled trade while completing their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
  • To help students to make the school to work transition by direct entry into apprenticeship training
  • To provide employers with the opportunity to train the skilled workers they need
  • To address the problem of skilled tradespeople shortages in general, and specifically the lack of young people joining the trades
OYAP logo

Program Overview

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, also known as OYAP, is a government initiative designed to connect high school students with career opportunities in the skilled trades.

OYAP enables students to explore various trades and gain hands-on experience while completing their secondary school education.

The program’s primary goal is to help students transition smoothly from school to apprenticeships, ensuring a seamless integration into the workforce.

Eligibility Criteria

To participate in OYAP, students must meet specific eligibility criteria. Typically, students must be at least 16 years old and have completed at least 16 credits towards their secondary school diploma (OSSD).

Eligibility requirements may vary slightly across different school boards.

Interested students should consult with their school guidance counselors or OYAP coordinators to ensure they meet the necessary criteria.

Benefits of the Program

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program offers numerous benefits for participating students.

  • Increased awareness of workplace demands and needs
  • Develop specialized and general skills that employers are looking for
  • Placements that allow students to acquire hours and competencies toward the total hours required for that particular apprenticeship, thus reducing post- secondary qualification time
  • Opportunities to apply classroom theory to workplace experience
  • A network for future employment (your foot in the door of a potential employer)
  • Smoother school-to-work transition by getting you started into the skilled trades at an earlier age
  • Opportunities to gain work experience and high-tech skills in preparation for the basic level one exemption test
  • Increased safety awareness and first aid skills
  • Increased opportunities for part time employment while still in school

In addition, there are other indirect benefits to students:

High School Credits

Students have the opportunity to earn high school credits through coursework related to their chosen trade.

Teacher Support

Students can benefit from support and guidance from their teachers and school administrators, who help them to understand the requirements of their trade, and help them to make informed decisions about their future careers.

Application Process

The application process for OYAP is straightforward but requires attention to detail.

Interested students should start by contacting their high school guidance counselor or OYAP coordinator to express their interest and obtain the necessary application forms.

The application typically includes personal information, educational background, and a statement of interest.

It’s important to note that OYAP programs are available in many trades, such as electrical, plumbing, automotive, and more. Therefore, students should indicate their trade preference when submitting their application.

It’s advisable to apply well in advance, as some trades may have limited capacity and a high demand for placement.

OYAP in Different Trades

welder skilled trades OYAP

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program covers a wide range of trades, providing students with the opportunity to explore and specialize in various fields. Some popular trades available through OYAP include:

  1. Automotive Service Technician
  2. Auto Body Repairer
  3. Baker
  4. Cabinetmaker
  5. Carpenter
  6. Cook
  7. Construction Craft Worker
  8. Early Childhood Educator
  9. Electrician (Construction and Maintenance)
  10. General Carpenter
  11. General Machinist
  12. Hairstylist
  13. Heavy Duty Equipment Technician
  14. Horticulturist
  15. Industrial Mechanic (Millwright)
  16. Industrial Woodworker
  17. Instrumentation and Control Technician
  18. Ironworker (Generalist)
  19. Landscape Horticulturist
  20. Mason (Brick and Stone)
  21. Motorcycle Technician
  22. Painter and Decorator
  23. Parts Technician
  24. Plumber
  25. Precision Metal Fabricator
  26. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic
  27. Residential Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic
  28. Residential Construction
  29. Residential (Low Rise) Sheet Metal Installer
  30. Residential (High Rise) Sheet Metal Installer
  31. Roofer
  32. Small Engine Technician
  33. Sprinkler and Fire Protection Installer
  34. Steamfitter (Pipefitter)
  35. Tool and Die Maker
  36. Truck and Coach Technician
  37. Welder

Please note that this is not a complete list, There are 140+ skilled trades in Ontario that can be learned through apprenticeship, and there may be additional trades covered by OYAP.

Students interested in specific trades should consult their school boards or OYAP coordinators for the most up-to-date information on available programs and opportunities.

OYAP in Different Regions

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program is available to high school students across the province of Ontario.

Local school boards and OYAP coordinators can provide information on specific programs and availability in your region.


In conclusion, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) opens doors of opportunity for high school students interested in pursuing a career in the skilled trades.

A job in the skilled trades offers a secure earning potential, business ownership prospects, and further training and education opportunities. 

Interested students will have the opportunity to learn, work, and be challenged by occupations that will provide valuable and diversified skills set. 

Having a skilled trade provides the power of flexibility, transferability, and is a passport to work anywhere in the world.  

By participating in OYAP, students gain highly sought after practical skills, industry connections, and a direct pathway to apprenticeships and certification.

If you’re an Ontario student looking to explore a skilled trade and embark on a rewarding career journey, participating in this program could be a great choice for you.

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Review: special academic programs in Ontario

OYAP Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program
Article Name
OYAP Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program
The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is a specialized program that educates students in the skilled trades. Students can prepare for an apprenticeship in a skilled trade while still in high school.
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Randy Selzer - Real Estate Agent
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