Conestoga news

January 24, 2002 11:57 AM

Conestoga Chosen to Lead Apprenticeship Program Development

Conestoga has been chosen to lead a team of Ontario colleges in the development of two new, regulated
apprenticeship programs.

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has announced that, under the provincial government’s
Apprenticeship Innovation Fund, Conestoga will be leader on the projects which have received a total development grant of $134,000. One project sees Conestoga working with Durham, Georgian, Mohawk and Niagara Colleges on welding apprenticeship programming; the other is for machine tool builder/integrator and involves ten colleges besides Conestoga -- Algonquin, Cambrian, Canadore, Durham, Fanshawe, La Cité, Mohawk, Niagara, Sir Sandford Fleming and Sheridan.

Mike McClements, Conestoga’s Dean of Engineering Technology, Trades and Apprenticeship, comments, “The machine tool builder/integrator apprenticeship has the support of some of our major partners, such as ATS and Engel Canada. Also, we are well-known and well-regarded for our welding programs, and considered to have the best lab and shop facilities among the colleges.”

Hans Zawada, Chair of Trades and Apprenticeship at Conestoga, comments that this will be the first time that welding will be classed as a regulated trade in Ontario, meaning that there will be common training content and standards as developed by a governmental/industrial/educational partnership. In addition, the trade will be “red sealed”, meaning that certification will be accepted interprovincially for the apprentice who successfully completes training. He adds that much emphasis will be put on devising exemption testing procedures for welders already in the trade, including those who have previously completed related courses or programs, such as apprenticeship studies in the non-regulated mode.

With regard to machine tool builder/integrator, a brand-new trade, Zawada says that it involves the building, installation and integration of automated systems used in advanced manufacturing: “It is related to the tool and die maker trade, but involves complex and intricate subassemblies essential to manufacturing systems.”

Machine tool builder/integrator likewise will be a regulated, “red sealed” trade and recognized interprovincially. Development work will focus on curriculum for the three in-college periods of apprenticeship training -- the basic, intermediate and advanced levels of instruction. Zawada indicates that implementation of this apprenticeship program could begin as early as the fall of 2002.

The Apprenticeship Innovation Fund, first announced in the spring of 2000, has the dual goal of updating apprenticeship classroom training and creating new skilled trades training standards.

CONTACT: Hans Zawada, 519-748-5220, ext. 3370 / 519-824-9390, ext. 151