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5 Free Pre-Apprenticeship Training Programs

Deciding to start a career in the trades can be intimidating, but there’s so much support for you! With numerous programs, resources, and people who want to see you succeed you absolutely can. 

We’re going to go over 5 free training programs that will help jump-start your career in the skilled trades! 

Canadian Tooling & Machining Association (CTMA)

The Canadian Tooling & Machining Association has a career-ready program that provides up to 250 experiential work placements as long as you meet the program’s eligibility requirements. 

It’s designed to help people increase their skills for great job opportunities in the precision metalworking sector, which includes machining, tool & die making, mould making, jig & fixture building, automation/robotics, additive manufacturing, and other related businesses. 

Find full details about the program here.

YWCA Hamilton  

YWCA Hamilton offers pre-apprenticeship programs for Women in Trades.  These programs are offered at no cost and provide participants with technical training and job coaching to start their career in the skilled trades. 

They have different pre-apprenticeship options such as:

  • Commercial Residential Painter Decorator (404C) (23 week program)
  • General Machinist Pre-Apprenticeship Program in affiliation with Niagara College (Up to 16 weeks at Niagara College and assistance with an 8 week placement)
  • Electrician Pre-Apprenticeship Program in affiliation with Niagara College (Up to 16 weeks at Niagara College and assistance with an 8 week placement) 

For all the information about these programs and any requirements, check out their link here.

Ontario Masonry Training Centre 

The pre-apprenticeship program through the Ontario Masonry Training Centre is a FREE 28-32 week program that provides basic theory and hands-on training for the brick and stone masonry field and introduction to refractory and restoration.  

It gives safety training as well as the opportunity to strengthen math and communication skills through academic upgrading if required! 

There is also a PAID work placement included in the program for a minimum of 8 weeks or 280 hours to 12 weeks or 420 hours.  

For more info and eligibility click here.


Pre-trades programs give students a well-rounded look at the skills and techniques used across a variety of skilled trades. A sample of courses may include: 

  • Construction 
  • Electrical 
  • Machining 

Additional skilled trades covered may include carpentry, plumbing, welding and more. Students will also learn broader skills, such as mathematics for the trades, drafting and blueprint reading, employment readiness and more. 

Ontario college pre-trades programs typically require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Additional academic requirements will vary by program, but may include a grade 12 English or mathematics credits. 

For more info and what colleges are offering programs, click here.

WEST Of Windsor 

The Womens Enterprise Skills Training in Windsor offers an all-women pre-apprenticeship class. They are currently offering a Pre-Apprenticeship CNC/Industrial Mechanic Millwright Program. 

It’s a 42-week WIST CNC Industrial Mechanic Millwright Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Program. It’s in partnership with St. Clair College and UNIFOR is delivering the WIST program to provide employment training and support to low-income women who are unemployed or under-employed, to gain gender-sensitive in class and on the job training to prepare them for employment in the trade. 

For more information and eligibility, click here.

There are so many opportunities available for getting into the trades and we can’t possibly list them all, but use these 5 as a start. Want to add a resource? Contact us and we’ll check it out!

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