MOLDMAKING APPRENTICE TRAINING SHOWING MORE FLEXIBILITY
Both the employer and employee can benefit from an alternative moldmaking apprentice training program offered by Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology (Downsview, Ont.). Seneca's courses for the...
Both the employer and employee can benefit from an alternative moldmaking apprentice training program offered by Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology (Downsview, Ont.). Seneca’s courses for the in-school advanced training segment of a traditional apprenticeship are offered in the evenings for a 30 week period.
“This in-school training is important to the apprentice because it provides theoretical back-up to the practical knowledge, prepares the student for the provincial moldmaker trade examination, and exposes the apprentice to machinery and equipment that his employer may not have,” explains Malcolm Archer, a professor at Seneca College.
Traditionally, apprentices could receive in-school training as eight weeks of daytime classes and be paid by Employment Insurance during this period, or take “day-release” programs for 40 weeks to achieve the required 240 hours of classroom study.
The evening program offers several advantages for both the moldmaking company and the apprentice. The company will not suffer the loss of employee working hours or the inconvenience of rescheduling work for apprentices who are at college. The apprentice will continue to accumulate hours toward their apprenticeship and will not suffer loss of income.
Under the current apprenticeship system, a high school graduate typically works for a company for about one year, then is sent to college for 240 hours of basic training. The apprentice returns to work for the company for about another year and then spends another stint at college for intermediate training. Back to work for a year, then back to college for advanced training. From there, the moldmaking apprentice must complete exams and 8000 apprentice hours.
An alternative approach offered at Seneca College and some other colleges consists of a pre-apprenticeship program lasting several semesters. The graduates of this program receive credit toward apprenticeship hours, and join a company already having basic machining skills and knowledge of safety practices and shop floor procedures.