Trades Training

Training for a trade and finding employment is a step-by-step process. Depending on the trade you choose and your existing skill level, training can take a few months or as many as four years. You will study in school for short periods, but most of your training takes place on-the-job with a sponsor, so you are paid a good wage while you learn as an apprentice. Generally, an apprenticeship is made up of 80 per cent on-the-job training and 20 per cent in-school learning.

Whether you have existing trades experience or not, the ITA Immigrants in Trades Training initiative can help prepare you for your career. And we can help you every step of the way, from exploring your options to becoming an experienced, certified tradesperson.

Here are some of the ways that you can enter the skilled trades, or move forward in the trades.

If you have no previous experience in the trades, and if you are not sure whether a career in the trades is for you, you may want to take a trades exploration or trades introduction program.

Through our training and funding partners, the ITA Immigrants in Trades Training initiative can provide you with career counselling, skills and aptitude assessments. We can also help you find trades exploration programs offered in your area, and provide tuition funding and supports, such as childcare or transportation, which you need to be able to begin your training. We can help you create an action plan to take you from where you are to where you want to go, and provide guidance and support throughout the process.

If you have already been introduced to a number of different trades, you may decide to pursue a career in a specific trade. At this point, you can take a pre- apprenticeship program (also known as a foundation program) in your chosen trade. Through our training and funding partners, the ITA Immigrants in Trades Training initiative can connect you to a pre-apprenticeship program in your area, and provide the support you need to successfully enrol and complete your chosen program, including paid tuition and other financial support as necessary.

If you feel that your skills are strong enough that you are ready to start work, you can take a challenge exam that will provide you credit for your past training, experience and skills.

If you have advanced skills and experience, you may be able to find an apprenticeship. Finding an apprenticeship position is like finding a regular job; you need to send out your resume and network with people in your trade who may be interested in hiring you.

Through our training partners, the ITA Immigrants in Trades Training initiative can set up introductions to potential employers. We can also help you improve your resume, job-search and interview skills.  Once you have found an apprenticeship position, we can fund the additional training you will need to complete your apprenticeship.

Take the first step - or the next step - in your trades career!

Contact the ITA Immigrants in Trades Training information line at 778-328-8700 (Lower Mainland) or 1-866-660-6011 (Toll Free in B.C.), or e-mail Our staff can help connect you to funded trades training opportunities in your community.