Conestoga news

August 1, 2007 4:39 PM

Tools of the Trade!

The Conestoga College Truck and Coach Pre-Apprenticeship students recently celebrated the completion of their 23 weeks of in-class program and practical training. These successful students are now on their way to the world of work! Festivities were held recently in the Truck and Coach Shop at the Guelph Campus. The program was funded by the Government of Ontario. With many companies facing a critical shortage of qualified tradespeople, Conestoga College continues to offer quality and innovative programming which is the ideal avenue to fast-track promising candidates, thereby helping to address the future hiring needs of area businesses.

Many students considered this Pre-Apprenticeship Program as an opportunity of a lifetime and gained the necessary tools of the trade. Pre-Apprenticeship Programs offer learning opportunities for participants of all ages to enter into the trades while at the same time receiving academic upgrading as part of their studies. Candidates that did not possess Grade 12 or equivalent were able to upgrade their skills to gain the academic entry into the motive power trade.

Reflections from the Truck and Coach Graduates

"Before being accepted into this program, as 1 of 24 people from over 100 applicants, I worked in different areas of low paying, unskilled jobs."

"I’m hoping that this course will give me the ground level skills that would make an employer want to take the chance to hire me."

"I am truly grateful for what I believe is the chance of a lifetime. This course has opened many doors of opportunity for me to branch my career towards, and I am thankful every day. I hope others will have the chance that I have had, to change their life, because it has certainly changed mine."

"The Truck and Coach Program has opened hundreds of new doors for me and I excited about my future opportunities".

"Without this opportunity I may not have been able to pursue these dreams".

"I have learned a lot about the trade, the lifestyle, and even more about myself. I learned so much from my instructors, which I would never have gotten if I were to go straight into an apprenticeship. I feel it would have been much harder to find an employer straight out of high school, and was unsure of myself".

"Rarely does someone come along and offer you an opportunity of a lifetime. Rarely is anyone offered a free education unless they have very high marks or is a gifted athlete. In most cases there are prerequisites that are required in order to even qualify for such opportunity".

"Diesel Mechanics has been a passion of mine for many years however I have bee unable to ascertain an apprenticeship until now. The instructors at Conestoga have been first rate, and are some of the best teachers I have ever encountered in my 15 years education".

"I enjoy being able to learn and develop new skills, and this program has definitely provided that opportunity".

"From the start of my course to date, I have made new friends and met some very influential people in the industry that I would have not known otherwise. I have found that the entire industry is like one big happy family".

"I appreciate the opportunity to enter a field which will provide me with a good income, job stability and the chance for "life-long learning".

"This is a trade I probably should have entered twenty-five years ago but I certainly appreciate the "second chance" to pursue a career I’ve always wanted".

"For me this has been one of the best learning experiences I’ve experienced and hopefully with the skills and knowledge I receive I will be able to blossom this into a good career."

"Before this journey began, my life was literally going down hill, due to constant layoffs, and too many bad jobs because of lack of education."

Demand within the Motive Power Sector

Due to the demand within the transportation industry, Conestoga College will offer two new programs in the motive power sector at the Guelph Campus for September. Motive Power Fundamentals- Automotive Service (Co-op) and Motive Power Fundamentals- Truck and Coach (Co-op) These post secondary programs reflect the growing interest and demand in the Auto Service and Truck and Coach industry as well as expanding the capabilities of Conestoga's new Truck and Coach Technician Centre, which opened at the campus this fall.

CONTACT: Brenda Gilmore, 519-824-9390, ext. 122,