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View From Inside: The 411 On Post-Secondary Training

View From Inside: The 411 On Post-Secondary Training

By Dr. Leon Barrett
PRIDE Education Columnist

Dr Leon A BarrettWhere does post-secondary education take place? There are three main places:
Workplace — On the job (Apprenticeship — Skilled Trades)

Apprenticeship (Career and technical education)

Apprenticeship is a formal workplace-based training program for people who want to work in a skilled trade.

There is extensive on-the-job training. In the apprenticeship training program a trainee called apprentice learns a skilled trade by working with a skilled, certified tradesperson called journeyperson, who has mastered the skills of the particular trade.

About 90 percent of the learning takes place on the job one-on-one. The other 10 percent of the learning takes place in a community college or other approved training organizations, usually at the end of the on-the-job training.

The length of the training varies according to the trade.

Trade Certification
To be employed in certain skilled trades, workers must have a Certificate of Qualification. This certificate states that they have passed the provincial qualification exam that assesses their knowledge of their skilled trade.

To write the provincial qualification exam, applicants must prove they have experience in the trade. Examples of proof include things like:

  • Completion of an apprenticeship contract
  • Documentation showing that training time meets at least minimum industry standards
  • Proof of relevant experience as a skilled worker.

Do I need to be certified?
There are two categories of trades in Ontario. To work in some trades, you must be certified. Certification in other trades is voluntary.

Important to know
Even though certification for these trades is voluntary, many employers and unions may still ask you for a certificate of Qualification.

For more information on the apprenticeship program in Ontario contact the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, Apprenticeship (www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/)

Community College or College of Applied Arts and Technology (Tertiary Type B education)
College provides post-secondary education that combines academic and applied learning, and employment preparation.

The programs include business, communications, community and health studies, science and engineering technology, general arts, hospitality, transportation, justice, community safety and emergency services. The length of training for each program may vary.

Colleges offer certificates, diplomas and applied degrees. Some colleges are partnering with universities to offer regular degrees in specified areas.

In some countries, though, tertiary-type A (largely theory-based) and B (shorter,) programs are provided by different types of institutions, but this is changing.

It is increasingly common for universities or other institutions to offer both types of programs, and the two programs are gradually becoming more similar in terms of curriculum, orientation and learning outcomes.

And like universities, most college training programs tend to require a secondary school diploma.

University (Tertiary Type A education)
University programs are largely theory-based and are designed to provide qualifications for entry into advanced research programs and professions with high requirements in knowledge and skills.

University offers post-secondary education which emphasizes academic and theoretical learning and employment preparation.

The workplace provides two services. It provides on-the-job training. It also enables someone with the required training to practice or apply his or her skills and training. Workplaces then, offers post-secondary education.

ApprenticeStudents then may choose the workplace because they want to develop their employable skills, apply their training, gain on-the-job training, and build a network for future training and opportunities.

They may also have a desire to seek employment and begin earning wages before going on to pursue other post-secondary training.

Financing Post-Secondary Education
Post-secondary education is expensive. No single source of funding is likely to cover the cost of a college or university education for the majority of students.

The costs include tuition, other charges by the institution, books and related supplies, housing/shelter, food, toiletries, transportation, and miscellaneous.

So funding of post-secondary education is going to require a combination of several sources. These sources include person savings, income from employment, money from family or partner or friends, student loans, personal loans, grants, scholarships, and gifts.

Planning Funding for Post-Secondary Education
1. Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
2. Tax-Free Savings Account
3. Mutual Funds
4. Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs)
5. Savings Bonds – Canada, Ontario
6 Regular Savings Account
7. Fundraising projects
8. Line of Credit
9. Income Tax refund
10. Garage Sale
11. Grants
12. Scholarships
13. Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).

Starting this September, 2017, the Ontario government will be providing free tuition to Ontario tertiary students with family income of $50,000 or less. The money will be given in the form of a grant which will not have to be repaid.

Those students with family income over the $50 000 threshold could still receive some money in the form of a grant. Students will have to apply for the grant as they would for student loan.

Starting in September too money in an RESP will no longer be taken into account when calculating the amount of OSAP grants and loans. This means the possibility for larger OSAP grants and loans—even for the students whose families have saved some money in RESPs.

Students with children may also be able to receive OSAP funding for child care costs. Since the grant only covers tuition, students and their families will have to bear the other costs associated with their tertiary education.

At a later point, I will discuss, more fully, funding for tertiary education.

Dr. Barrett is a retired Peel Region District Board teacher and educator. Write to him at pridenews@bellnet.ca.

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