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What is the difference between an apprenticeship and co-op?
Apprenticeship training is a form of post-secondary education that combines on-the-job and in-school training. At the completion of an apprenticeship, an individual can take an examination. Once he or she passes the examination and satisfies the criteria set out by his or her Province/Territory, he or she will earn a Certificate of Qualification/Journeyperson Certificate from his or her Province or Territory in Canada.
Apprenticeship training is different from Co-op education in that as an apprentice:
- You will already be employed and work with an employer who agrees to ‘sponsor’ and train you as an apprentice for a specific skilled trade. Once you and your employer agree to this, you and your employer may enter into and sign an apprenticeship agreement which is then registered with the Provincial or Territorial governmental agency that regulates apprenticeship training
- Furthermore, your employer monitors your progress and validates what you have been learning and the amount of hours you spent perfecting your new skill;
- You receive a wage while you work – you earn while you learn.
Generally with Co-op education:
- You are a student who is not yet employed in the industry of your choice
- Your Co-op term is regulated by an educational institution (high school, college or university)
- You may or may not be paid during your Co-op term.