Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) - Toronto District School Board
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STUDENTS

Students discover more about themselves in a real work environment.

What am I good at? Then, what am I capable of? 

Every student should have an OYAP experience or co-op placement to enhance their eventual career goal.  Experiential Learning, incorporating cooperative education placements, possibly college dual-credits, and learning on the job from experienced employers is the best way to really envision the person you can be.

With OYAP you can count hours and / or competencies as experiences towards a real certification in a recognized trade. Then the way you weave your future ahead can mix more hands-on training and college and university together as you develop.

Students with OYAP on their resume from secondary school can start their careers and be earning money faster than most other students who limit themselves with just a basic college or university pathway.

It's important to change the awareness people have of the apprenticeship pathway. It is actually post-secondary education just like college or university. It's not limiting to try a trade - it's actually formative, and helps you define the kind of work you like to do, and think about the kind of work environment you want to be in. You may be an entrepreneur and manager down the line, who decides to take the trade they learn, and turn it into a lucrative business. You may be a construction person who ends up an architect, or a hairstylist that ends up running a prestigious spa, or a cook who progresses to manage a restaurant chain. It starts with learning by doing.

The best part of it is that you get to be supported by amazing employers, co-operative education teachers, student facilitators, college and training facility instructors, and get out in the world with qualified people with experience. You likely start earning certifications in safety and specialized equipment and processes that you get to add to your resume. You start being treated more like an adult, but with that you have responsibilities to participate fully. 

This is where we want you to be able to find resources to share with your parents and guardians about what you're interested in learning, and provide them with more information about the various OYAP programs that the TDSB offers.  We want to help you make well-informed choices between our programs. 

We also want to be able to support our current OYAP students (school year 2016-2017) who are currently in our OYAP programs with resources and connections to help ensure their success.

If you're not sure if OYAP programs are for you, there are opportunities available this year to learn from other students' experiences. Have a look at these testimonials

We will help you do some career exploration to figure out the right pathway. Many students aren't sure about what they want to do, and that process of checking out programs can be overwhelming. We offer Regular Co-op OYAP, Specialized Program OYAP, and Level 1 Accelerated OYAP and one of those options may be the best choice you ever made in high school. It can't be a secret to success anymore. Try some of our games, read some stuff, look at some videos, and then ask yourself some questions.

What do I enjoy doing? What am I good at doing?  What do my parents want me to do? What do I see my future career as?

Most likely it's a mix of those things that have to mash-up together into something only you, unique you, can do. Find it.

How can you get there? OYAP is a great start. Then you can look at developing with that knowledge. If you can speak other languages, or have special skills or experiences in unique environments, there's likely a way you can tie all your benefits into an amazing and lucrative, employable package. It's important to know that your post-secondary pathway won't be a straight line. Think of it more like an ongoing road trip rather than a final destination. You may choose to develop yourself in different directions during various parts of your life. As long as you are on a path, you are already a success in progress, and just have to keep making the choices that are right for you. 

To be happy, employable, and successful, you have to know your preferences in the world of work.

Do you like working indoors or outdoors? Managed, or self-directed? On a team, or independent?

Repetitive tasks or a new project challenge every day? New projects every day, week, month or year? 

Do you prioritize technical detail or creative freedom, or both?

If you can consider these questions, they'll help you figure out your first best career pathway. 

If you have questions, check in with your Student Services Department or Student Success teacher at your school. Visit the Co-op Office and find out more about the program. Talk with your parent or guardian, friends, teachers, and people you trust to share their ideas. Review this website, look at the OYAP.com website, or contact us for more information.