2. Case study: Entry requirements and initial training of vocational teachers and trainers in Canada

Canada’s vocational education and training (VET) system, as other parts of its education system, is highly diverse across its provinces (see Box 2.1 for examples). The ten provinces and three territories are in charge of their own educational system. Students wishing to follow VET can do so in: (i) secondary schools, (ii) colleges and institutes at the post-secondary level (such as technical and vocational schools/institutions/training centres, community colleges, institutes of technology, union training centres, or industry associations), (iii) private for-profit colleges, and (iv) workplaces through apprenticeship programmes (UNESCO-UNEVOC, 2013[1]).

In most provinces, after eight years of primary education, students continue in secondary education typically lasting four years. There is no distinct vocational path at the upper secondary level, although optional vocational courses are offered within the general track. The exception is Quebec, which offers separate VET programmes at the upper-secondary level: 9% of upper secondary students were enrolled in VET in 2018, all of which are enrolled in programmes that offer the chance of direct access to tertiary education (OECD, 2020[2]). The VET courses offered at upper-secondary level across provinces and territories prepare students for entry into the job market or to enrol in apprenticeships, post-secondary colleges or universities (Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, 2022[3]).

VET programmes at the post-secondary level are found across the country, offering by far the broadest range of VET options (OECD, 2020[2]). Colleges and institutes offer three different lengths of VET programmes: a one-year certificate programme (mostly at ISCED Level 4), a two-year technical diploma (generally assigned to ISCED Level 5) and a three-year diploma programme (mostly at ISCED Level 5). The range of trades taught in colleges and institutes depends on local labour market needs (OECD, 2015[4]). Colleges and institutes offer predominantly vocational programmes, and some certificate and diploma programmes include work-based learning (Skolnik, 2021[5]).

In apprenticeship programmes, which are generally delivered at the post-secondary level and lead to a trade qualification, the related industry is responsible for practical training delivered in the workplace, and post-secondary institutions provide the theoretical components (i.e. colleges and institutes, and private for-profit colleges). An apprenticeship takes two to five years to complete (typically lasting four years). An upper-secondary qualification is usually required to start an apprenticeship – in 2015 only a tenth of apprenticeship completers had at most lower secondary education as their highest level of education when starting an apprenticeship (Frank and Jovic, 2017[6]).

Work-integrated learning (WIL) is the term in Canada often used for work-based learning. WIL covers cooperative education (school-based learning that integrates work-based learning), apprenticeships (combination of on-the-job training with classroom learning), entrepreneurship support,1 internships and work placement (CEWIL, 2021[12]). According to the 2018 National Graduates Survey, of all the 2015 postsecondary graduates who did not pursue further education in the three years following graduation, 50% reported having participated in WIL during their postsecondary studies (excluding those who did apprenticeships) (Galarneau, Kinack and Marshall, 2020[13]). College graduates were the most likely to have participated in WIL during their studies (61%), compared to bachelor’s (49%), master’s (37%) and doctoral graduates (19%) (Galarneau, Kinack and Marshall, 2020[13]).

Apprenticeship programmes in most provinces usually dedicate about 85% of the programme duration to workplace learning and the remaining 15% to learning in the classroom. In-class training usually takes about 6 to 12 weeks per year (e.g. in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Yukon). Apprenticeships are set up according to industry standards and government legislation, informed by craft unions, trade jurisdictions (e.g. in Quebec), and provincial and regional trade-specific apprenticeship committees, all of which are approved by the governing provincial apprenticeship board. Each apprenticeship programme outlines specific certification requirements to achieve government-issued certification of qualification, and these may vary by apprenticeship board (Barabasch and Watt-Malcolm, 2013[14]).

Apprenticeship registrations have shown a decrease in recent years, from over 455 800 in 2015, to almost 398 000 in 2019 and 381 000 in 2020 (see Figure 2.1, Panel A) (Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, 2022[3]; Statistics Canada, 2021[15]). The decrease in 2020 is likely to be at least partially attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. Apprenticeship programmes in Canada have been mostly geared toward young adults. In 2020, 61% of registered apprentices were aged between 20 and 34 (65% in 2015) and 35% were 35 or older (29% in 2015). Half of apprenticeships are concentrated on in the trade groups of electricians (17%), carpenters (12%), plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters (11%), and automotive service (10%) (Figure 2.1, Panel B).

In Canada, VET teachers -who teach trades in school-based settings- are often referred to as instructors. These VET teachers provide instruction of trades to young people and adults at the post-secondary level, such as colleges and institutes, and at the upper-secondary level where they teach optional vocational courses (except in Quebec where they teach in the separate VET track).

The equivalents of in-company trainers are journeypersons, supervisors, mentors, teachers or trainers. On-the-job training in apprenticeships is usually delivered by journeypersons, i.e. workers who have received provincial or territorial certification in their trade (e.g. in Alberta, New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Yukon). They may act as a mentor to a registered apprentice in addition to working in their trade. They provide opportunities for their apprentice to complete the tasks required at each level of the apprenticeship programme and will sign-off when these competencies are achieved (CAF-FCA, n.d.[16]). They are typically highly skilled workers who have a significant amount of work experience and competence in their trade. Employers can support their journeypersons by hiring a co-ordinator who manages the administrative matters and helps structure the training (CAF-FCA, 2017[17]).

The distinction between VET teachers and in-company trainers is not always clear-cut in Canada, especially in data collected by occupation. The occupation group ‘College and other vocational instructors’ (which can be interpreted as VET teachers but also include in-company trainers, see Box 2.2) may include those who teach applied arts, academic, as well as technical and vocational subjects and sometimes include those who train in private training establishments or companies (Government of Canada, 2022[18]). For example, in Quebec, college and vocational training teachers teach techniques and develop skills of their students according to their specialisation (Gouvernement du Québec, 2022[19]) – including both VET teachers and trainers. They work for Cégeps (public college, see Box 2.1) and other colleges, technical institutes, vocational training centres and businesses (Gouvernement du Québec, 2022[19]).

Provinces and territories are responsible for their own VET system. They are in charge of regulating and administering VET, including apprenticeship programmes, as well as certifying tradespeople as journeypersons. The ministers of education from all provinces and territories coordinate their policy, programmes, international engagements, and other matters of common interest, including VET, and undertake relevant initiatives cooperatively through the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) (OECD, 2015[4]). Furthermore, the federal government works with the provinces and territories through the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) – a forum for inter-jurisdictional collaboration on trades and apprenticeship – to support their development of qualified skilled trades, which can be trained by apprenticeship. The CCDA is responsible for the Red Seal Program, which sets common standards to assess the skills of tradespeople across Canada (see Box 2.3).

Industry and employers play a critical role in the delivery and shaping of apprenticeship training by hiring apprentices and providing them with on-the-job training and work experience. Colleges, technical schools, unions and private trainers provide the in-school technical training part of an apprenticeship, often through course work in classrooms but also in web-based or hybrid format (Frank and Jovic, 2017[6]). These institutions are accredited by their provincial/territorial apprenticeship authority to deliver technical training. Most colleges and institutes are public and can set their own admissions standards and degree requirements, however, this varies across provinces. Provincial and territorial governments often have responsibilities in the areas of funding, fees, quality assurance, and the introduction of new programmes, with level of involvement varying from one province and territory to another. In publicly-funded colleges, government involvement can sometimes extend to admissions policies, programme approval, curricula, institutional planning, and working conditions, whereas private institutions enjoy a more independent status (OECD, 2015[4]).

This section discusses the skills, qualifications and/or experience that VET teachers and in-company trainers in Canada are required to have to take up their role. At the upper-secondary level, where VET teachers refer to those who offer optional vocational courses (except for in Quebec where they teach in the separate VET track) the entry requirements for VET teachers are defined at the level of provinces and territories. At the post-secondary level, entry requirements for VET teachers are defined by VET providers (i.e. teachers’ employers such as colleges). Colleges and institutes at the post-secondary level generally operate independently from the provincial government and are responsible for establishing those requirements themselves. Therefore, there is no single standard for VET teacher credentials among numerous post-secondary institutions across Canada. As VET in Canada is predominantly offered at the post-secondary level, this section largely focuses on entry requirements for VET teachers and trainers teaching and training at this level. For in-company trainers, their required qualifications to train registered apprentices (see Box 2.3) are defined in provincial legislation in most provinces and territories.

While the exact requirements differ between provinces and territories, for VET teachers (i.e. instructors of trades in school-based settings) the completion of apprenticeship training and a trade certification are usually required, and it is common for them to have practical workplace experience (Barabasch and Watt-Malcolm, 2013[14]) On the pedagogical or didactic front, additional courses in teaching or in adult education, a provincial teaching certificate, a bachelor or master's degree in education, a college diploma, demonstrated expertise in the field of instruction or relevant work experience may be required (OECD, 2021[8]), with a bachelor of education being the most commonly required pedagogical qualification.

For example, in Ontario, every public school teacher at the upper secondary level must be certified by, and become a member of, the Ontario College of Teachers, which is a self-regulatory body for the province’s teaching profession from primary to secondary levels (including VET courses).2 To join that body, for instance, a technological education teacher at a secondary school needs to fulfil a number of requirements, including: i) an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (or equivalent), ii) the completion of a four-semester teacher education programme at the post-secondary level, and iii) proof of technical competence in the relevant technological area, which can be demonstrated by five years of work experience (with 1 700 hours being equivalent to one year) or a combination of post-secondary education and work experience (with at least two years of continuous employment) (Ontario College of Teachers, 2022[22]).

In Saskatchewan, a Vocational or Technical Certificate (ISCED Level 4) allows its holder to teach a specified or related subject at all school levels (i.e. upper-secondary and below). Additional requirements may include a senior matriculation at Grade 12, journeyperson certification, work experience, or one year of teacher education including a practicum. These additional requirements may differ depending on the type of the certificate. For example, those who have a vocational certificate need to have a journeyperson certificate (or equivalent training), whereas those who have a technical certificate need to have studied the relevant field for two years at the post-secondary level and have gained two years of work experience (Saskatchewan Professional Teachers Regulatory Board, n.d.[23]).

In Québec, a teaching diploma is required to teach in secondary VET – this is a permanent teaching licence. The standard method of obtaining a teaching diploma is to take the four-year certified bachelor of education programme. However, there are other pathways, too. For example, those who have earned a Diploma of Vocational Studies (DVS at ISCED Level 3) can also become a VET teacher, with the following two conditions:

  • Have 3 000 hours of practical or teaching experience directly related to the trade or occupation to be taught;

  • Complete a bachelor’s degree in vocational training (some university programmes allow for recognition of prior learning based on vocational training and workplace experience) while still working.

Alternatively, those who have a technical Diploma of College Studies (DCS), a university certificate (minimum 30 credits)3 or a university degree related to a VET programme can also enter the VET teaching profession but they still need to obtain the teaching diploma while already teaching (Gouvernement du Québec, 2022[24]). Specific requirements hold for immigrant teachers, see Box 2.4.

There are various cases in which prospective teachers may already start teaching before they fulfil the entry requirements, often due to a vocational teacher shortage. For example, in Québec, prospective teachers may already work as substitute teachers before finishing or even starting their bachelor of education programme at a university (Québec, 2022[25]). Similarly, in Manitoba, prospective teachers may be hired as teachers on a provisional licence while still completing their university teacher training (Miesera and Gebhardt, 2018[26]).

At the post-secondary level, the requirements for VET teachers differ across providers and teaching fields, although there are often similarities between the providers within the same province or territory. Each post-secondary institution hires its own teaching staff and evaluates their teaching qualifications according to its own rules (MICC, 2012[27]). VET providers may adapt qualification requirements depending on the competition for their VET teacher position. Many post-secondary VET institutions require VET teachers to have a bachelor of education. For example:

  • In Alberta, most college instructors of technical, trade or vocational programmes have post-secondary education related to their field of expertise and hold a professional or technical certification. The employing colleges offer staff development programmes that teach instructional methods to instructors who have not completed a formal teacher training (Government of Alberta, 2022[29]).

  • In British Columbia, while each trade programme outlines its own requirements for post-secondary VET teachers, for most trades VET teachers require an occupational qualification (preferably with Red Seal endorsement), a minimum of five years’ work experience as a journeyperson, instructional experience and a teaching diploma, such as instructor’s diploma, bachelor or master of education.

  • In Manitoba, college instructors usually need to have both a trade certification and experience in the trade. For example, prospective vocational teachers should have six years of training and work experience. Moreover, they are required to obtain a teaching certificate (Vocational Education Diploma or Adult Education Certificate) – although in some trades they might still get hired before receiving their teaching qualification.

  • In Saskatchewan, a requirement to teach a trade in Saskatchewan Polytechnic is to have a Red Seal certificate in the trade with a minimum of three years of experience as a journeyperson in the trade. Once hired, teachers should take an accredited Adult Education training programme to develop pedagogical skills.

While in-company trainers in Canada are usually those who have provincial or territorial certification in their trade (i.e. they are journeypersons), the exact requirements for trainers varies across provinces and territories. For instance, an experienced worker without a vocational certification can also train apprentices in certain provinces and territories (e.g. Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia and Saskatchewan), referred to as designated trainers. Examples of requirements include:

  • Alberta: Only certified journeypersons can supervise and mentor an apprentice in a trade that requires a certification to be employed, while in a trade for which a certification is optional this condition does not apply (Government of Alberta, 2022[30]).

  • Manitoba: ‘Designated trainers’ can act as in-company trainers (see Box 2.3). They need to have experience in 70% of the scope of the trade and have relevant work experience that is at least equal to 1.5 times the duration of the apprenticeship within the past 10 years (Manitoba, 2021[31]).

  • British Columbia: Certified journeypersons are responsible for supervising their apprentice’s work-based training. Those who are not certified but have extensive experience in the trade may apply for equivalent journeyperson certification, called “Supervision and Sign-Off Authority” (Industry Training Authority British Columbia, 2019[32]). They can be certified in the trade, if they pass the Interprovincial or Certificate of Qualification exam within 12 months of being approved for Supervision and Sign Off Authority (Industry Training Authority British Columbia, 2019[33]).

Hence, in general, in-company trainers should have a qualification that is relevant to their trade and sufficient relevant work experience. While not a requirement, trainers are expected to exhibit a set of skills that go beyond their technical competence, including the ability and desire to teach, openness to work with younger people, management of the workload under time pressure, and leadership and communication skills. While these skills are crucial for the mentor role, only few trainers have received training or guidance in these areas (Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, 2013[34]; Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, 2016[35]).

This section looks at the education and training programmes that prepare VET teachers and in-company trainers for their role. The governance of VET teacher education and training is at the discretion of the faculty of education at universities in consultation with, and in line with policies set out by, Ministries of Education in the provincial governments as well as teacher unions and associations at the provincial level. To warrant the development of a teacher education and training programmes, each education faculty will determine whether: (i) there is a demand for the programme and (ii) the faculty has the expertise and resources to develop and deliver the programme (Barabasch and Watt-Malcolm, 2013[14]). For in-company trainers no specific training programmes are required (as discussed above). Nonetheless, different stakeholders provide several opportunities for in-company trainers to learn about the entire process of apprenticeships, trainers’ duties and best practices, basic concepts and principles of work-based learning.

Initial education and training for VET teachers in Canada is usually done through a bachelor’s degree programme in education with the option to follow a master’s and doctoral programme to expand their knowledge and expertise. The four-year bachelor in education programmes include pedagogy, school curriculum, systems and administration, leadership and technology. Master’s and doctoral programmes follow up on these topics (Barabasch and Watt-Malcolm, 2013[14]). These programmes usually focus on pedagogical content, as VET teachers are usually expected to already have a VET qualification and relevant work experience.

Universities are the only institutions offering the bachelor in education. In practice, universities, colleges, and technical institutes often form a partnership to offer teaching qualifications, as a way to combine the university’s pedagogic training and the college’s or technical institute’s vocational or technical knowledge. This is because universities usually do not offer vocational or highly technical courses, yet only they can grant the bachelor of (vocational) education degree that enables the degree holders to teach vocational or technical subjects (Barabasch and Watt-Malcolm, 2013[14]). In Québec, a bachelor in vocational teaching (Baccalauréat en enseignement professionnel, BEP) to teach VET in secondary schools or colleges is delivered by five universities. BEP aims both at people who are already teaching a trade in a VET institution and at people who aspire to teach the trade they practice. Therefore, a vocational training diploma (DEP), a technical training diploma (DEC), university or equivalent training as well as relevant practical work or vocational teaching experience of at least two years (or 3 000 hours) is necessary for admission to the programme (UDS, 2021[36]). This bachelor programme allows students to develop their teaching skills while remaining at the cutting edge of technical and technological developments in their profession.

In some provinces, the requirement for some VET teachers (depending on their background) is a post-secondary teaching certification rather than a bachelor’s qualification. Such certificates are generally provided by colleges and institutes. In Saskatchewan, for example, the College of Education offers a one-year-long programme resulting in a Certificate in Secondary Technical Vocational Education (University of Saskatchewan, n.d.[37]).

The local Ministries of Education have defined teaching standards for their province or territory. For instance, Alberta was the first province that established a Teaching Quality Standard. This standard provides guidance on the competencies that teachers should have and acquire through teacher training. Based on this guidance, ITET providers establish their curriculum. Similarly, Ontario’s College of Teachers has defined Ethical Standards and Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession to guide the daily practice of Ontario’s teachers, on which the ITET curriculum could be based.

Teacher training taking place at higher education institutions allow the students to expand their expertise while familiarising themselves with topics such as pedagogy, administration, or leadership. In Ontario, for example, courses on human development and learning and education-related legislation and government policies are a mandatory part of ITET of all school teachers. Box 2.5 provides insights on the content of ITET in Alberta based on data from the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS). In general, VET teachers are expected to be aware of job-related norms, safety regulations, and provincial, territorial, and federal employment and occupational policies and be attentive to sharing possible occupations and future educational opportunities with their students. To support the acquisition of this knowledge, bachelor of education programmes in universities may include relevant courses to help prospective VET teachers learn how to access information and resources for school-to-work transitions (Barabasch and Watt-Malcolm, 2013[14]).

As mentioned in the previous section, in Saskatchewan, newly hired VET teachers follow an accredited Adult Teaching and Learning programme. These programmes offer new hires opportunities to acquire and advance their instructional and leadership skills. The courses include instructional strategies, educational technology, curriculum design, educational leadership, and learning evaluation (Saskatchewan Polytechnic, n.d.[38]).

The design of initial teacher education and training in Canada varies significantly across providers, programmes and candidates’ previous qualifications, as well as provinces and territories. However, several different, indicative, pathways are identified to obtain a bachelor in education – the qualification most commonly required by VET teachers – or equivalent (Barabasch and Watt-Malcolm, 2013[14]):

  • Four-year Bachelor’s programme in education: The Bachelor of Education degree is obtained following four years of university studies. A high school diploma with specified courses and grades is needed to enter the programme, yet no additional specialisation is required.

  • One-plus-three programme: A pre-professional year amounting to 24 university transferable credits is required to enter a three-year Bachelor of Education programme.

  • Two-plus-two programme: This programme needs the aspiring teacher to follow a two-year college and two-year Bachelor’s programme.

  • Modified two-plus-two programme: Entry into a two-year Bachelor of Education programme at a university requires a specialisation and having obtained the necessary 24 university transferable credits in a pre-professional year.

  • Combined degree programmes: Students are allowed to combine a Bachelor’s degree in their specialisation with a Bachelor of Education, yet duration of such a combined degree is often five years or more of study. A high school diploma with specified courses and grades is required to start the combined programmes.

  • After-degree programme: Aspiring teachers can first follow a four-year Bachelor’s programme in their desired field and afterwards a two-year Bachelor of Education.

In Saskatchewan, post-secondary teachers are not required to have a bachelor of education, but should take Adult Teaching and Learning courses, which are offered online and on campus and combine theory and practice. Instructors who have a degree in education may apply for exemption of the programme. Moreover, it is possible to receive transfer credit or a prior learning assessment and recognition credit if the instructor has gained the knowledge provided by the programme through other formal or non-formal training (Saskatchewan Polytechnic, n.d.[38]).

In some cases, the ITET will include practical training. This is the case for example in Ontario, where a teaching practicum in a four-semester teacher education programme at the post-secondary level is mandatory for all school teachers, including technological education teachers.

ITET is financed by student fees and provincial government funding. In general, grants and loans help students pay for their post-secondary education in Canada, including prospective VET teachers to pay their ITET. Through the Canada Student Financial Assistance Program, the federal government, together with participating provincial and territorial governments, provides needs-based grants and loans, as well as repayment assistance for low- and middle-income students. While in some jurisdictions, federal and provincial/territorial governments work together to provide financial assistance through integrated grants and loans, in others, federal support is available alongside provincial assistance. In Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Quebec, Canada Student Grants and Loans are not available. These jurisdictions receive payments from the federal government in support of their own, independent and comprehensive student aid programs (Table 2.1). In all jurisdictions, students apply through their province or territory of residence, which then assesses the students’ eligibility for all grants and loans that are available. The amount of support depends on factors such as educational costs, living costs, family size, individual and household income, and a number of demographic characteristics. In addition to grants and loans, students can use education savings if they have a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) – a tax-free savings account parents open to save money for their child’s post-secondary education and in which the federal government deposits education savings incentives.

Financial support for apprentices helps them to complete their apprenticeship programmes – and therefore also prospective teachers and trainers to enter the profession as they are usually required to have completed an apprenticeship (Frank and Jovic, 2017[6]). These include grants (e.g. the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and the Apprenticeship Completion Grant), loans, tax credits, and Employment Insurance (EI) benefits during full-time or in-school training.

The quality assurance system for ITET in Canada reflects the large degree of freedom afforded to each province and ITET provider in the design and delivery of ITET, including training for VET teachers. Different actors manage higher education quality assurance systems – agencies, organisations that represent the provincial or territorial universities, the provincial or territorial governments, or even a combination of these actors. In general, these quality assurance systems review new ITET programmes to make sure that certain quality standards are upheld. They also determine guidelines to evaluate already accredited programmes and monitor institutional reviews in terms of frequency and efficacy. Due to its autonomy regarding academic matters, each Canadian university can define its own standards and procedures for quality assurance; yet, it has to be additionally reviewed by relevant provincial or territorial quality assurance authorities (Universities Canada, n.d.[40]; Universities Canada, n.d.[41]). In 2007, the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) endorsed the Ministerial Statement on Quality Assurance of Degree Education in Canada, which serves as a guide for the quality assessment of new degree programmes and degree-granting institutions within each province or territory (Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, 2007[42]).

For example, in Ontario, the Ontario College of Teachers reviews and accredits teacher education programmes based on the province’s regulation requirements. These requirements include a conceptual framework of the programme, consistency with the College’s standards of practice for the teaching profession and the current teacher education research, the integration of theory and practice, and the provision of mandatory courses and teaching practicum. In addition, the general public can also contribute to the evaluation of the programme’s quality (Ontario College of Teachers, 2017[43]; Ontario College of Teachers, n.d.[44]; Government of Ontario, 2021[45]; Ontario College of Teachers, 2022[46]).

There are no specific training programmes that need to be completed in order to be an in-company trainer. Nonetheless, various types of institutions provide opportunities for in-company trainers to learn about the entire process of apprenticeships, trainers’ duties and best practices, basic concepts and principles of work-based learning. As training for in-company trainers is not mandatory, there are no specific quality assurance mechanisms in place for this avenue.

Employers, industry associations, and provincial or territorial apprenticeship authorities may organise workshops or provide guidelines or templates for in-company trainers to provide efficient mentoring for apprentices. Moreover, as the responsibility for apprentice training generally lies with a journeyperson, this person may already have learned mentoring concepts in their apprenticeship programme to be prepared to train apprentices after receiving their journeyperson certification (Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, 2013[34]). As part of Red Seal Occupational Standards, there are expectations to perform mentoring and these Standards include a description of the skills and knowledge elements required for mentorship. Provinces and territories apply the requirements in the Red Seal Occupational Standards for mentorship into their respective trades training models. For example, in Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission provides a guide for trainers ‘Journeyperson as Trainer’, which includes basic principles of instruction, steps of skills training and best practices. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency offers mentoring workshops and makes all the workshop resources accessible online. In New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Building Trades Unions developed a Mentor Apprentice Program in collaboration with the provincial government (see Box 2.6).

In Quebec, the University of Quebec offers courses for trainers. Under the ‘Certificate for trainers in the workplace’ (30 credits), part-time courses are offered (on weekends or in the evening), aimed at those who already have experience as a trainer with professionals or workers and who want to enrich their skills or acquire new tools or analytical framework to innovate in their practice. It also targets people who have a wealth of knowledge in a field and who are looking to become a trainer or pass on their professional knowledge. The ‘Undergraduate Short Program for Workplace Trainers (9 credits)’ offers similar training but in a shorter form (UQAM, 2022[48]).

The mentor guidelines and ready-to-use templates described above provide in-company trainers with instructions and examples for the development of lessons and communication with the apprentice, which include advice on conflict resolution and feedback provision. Workshops for in-company trainers usually explain the tasks the apprentice should acquire during each year of training and teach the trainers how to use training manuals and a logbook, which records the apprentice’s on-the-job learning progress. Moreover, in the workshops, the journeypersons learn mentorship principles, different learning styles, assessment techniques and how to facilitate meetings as trainer. In order to better prepare the prospective trainers, a training plan for apprenticeship is established – it comprises of the tasks that trainers should conduct to develop the desired skills the apprentice should acquire through in-company training, a training schedule, and a plan on how to monitor the apprentice’s learning progress (Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, 2013[34]; Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, 2016[35]). The workshops organised by employers usually take place in a classroom setting, in which scenario-based exercises allow the prospective trainers to practice their mentor skills (Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, 2013[34]).

In Quebec, the content of the Certificate for trainers in the workplace programme, mentioned above, includes strategic planning process, designs training activities with methods adapted to the needs and values of the workplace, identifying the resources and rules of the training environment, dealing with professionalism according to ethical principles, and analysing advising and influencing the quality and innovation of training (UQAM, 2022[48]).


[14] Barabasch, A. and B. Watt-Malcolm (2013), “Teacher preparation for vocational education and training in Germany: a potential model for Canada?”, Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, Vol. 43/2, pp. 155-183, https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2012.661216.

[17] CAF-FCA (2017), Effective Journeyperson Apprenticeship Metoring On-the-Job, https://caf-fca.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/79084-CAF_Mentor_Eng.pdf.

[16] CAF-FCA (n.d.), What Is Apprenticeship?, https://caf-fca.org/apprenticeship-101/what-is-apprenticeship/.

[35] Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (2016), Employer Handbook.

[34] Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (2013), Effective Journeyperson Apprentice Mentoring On-the-Job: Tips, Strategies, and Resources.

[12] CEWIL (2021), What is Work-integrated Learning (WIL), https://cewilcanada.ca/CEWIL/About-Us/Work-Integrated-Learning.aspx.

[3] Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (2022), Education in Canada an overview, https://www.cmec.ca/299/education-in-canada-an-overview/index.html.

[42] Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (2007), Statement on Quality Assurance, https://www.cmec.ca/Publications/Lists/Publications/Attachments/95/QA-Statement-2007.en.pdf.

[10] Éducation internationale (2022), Vocational Training in Québec, https://www.education-internationale.com/en/quebec-education-system/.

[6] Frank, K. and E. Jovic (2017), National Apprenticeship Survey, http://www.statcan.gc.ca.

[13] Galarneau, D., M. Kinack and G. Marshall (2020), Work-integrated learning during postsecondary studies, 2015 graduates, https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/75-006-x/2020001/article/00003-eng.htm.

[19] Gouvernement du Québec (2022), College and Vocational Training Teachers, https://www.quebec.ca/en/employment/trades-occupations/exploring-trades-and-occupations/4021-college-and-vocational-training-teachers.

[24] Gouvernement du Québec (2022), Teaching General Education in the Youth Sector, Vocational Training and Adult Education, https://www.quebec.ca/en/employment/trades-occupations/exploring-trades-occupations/teaching-general-education-youth-sector-vocational-training-adult-education/becoming-teacher.

[28] Gouvernement du Québec (2021), Immigrating to Québec to teach, https://www.quebec.ca/en/employment/trades-occupations/exploring-trades-occupations/teaching-general-education-youth-sector-vocational-training-adult-education/immigrating-quebec-teach.

[29] Government of Alberta (2022), College, Technical or Vocational Instructor - educational requirements, https://alis.alberta.ca/occinfo/occupations-in-alberta/occupation-profiles/college-technical-or-vocational-instructor/.

[30] Government of Alberta (2022), Employer’s guide to apprenticeship, https://www.alberta.ca/employer-guide-apprenticeship.aspx.

[39] Government of Canada (2022), Canada Student Grants and Loans – Apply with your province or territory, https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/education/student-aid/grants-loans/province-apply.html.

[18] Government of Canada (2022), Job Bank - College and other vocational instructors, https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/occupation/22989/ca.

[11] Government of Ontario (2022), Apprenticeship in Ontario.

[45] Government of Ontario (2021), O. Reg. 347/02: Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs.

[32] Industry Training Authority British Columbia (2019), Instructions: Certification Challenge or Supervision and Sign-off Authority, https://www.itabc.ca/sites/default/files/docs/soa-application-instructions-september-2019_0.pdf.

[33] Industry Training Authority British Columbia (2019), Supervision and Sign Off Authority, https://www.itabc.ca/hiring-apprentices/supervision-and-sign-authority.

[9] Les Cégeps du Québec (2022), Des études supérieures au cégep, un choix judicieux pour l’avenir!.

[31] Manitoba (2021), Apprenticeship Manitoba: Designated Trainer Application, https://www.gov.mb.ca/wd/apprenticeship/pdfpubs/pubs/general/designated_trainer.pdf.

[47] MAP Strategic Workforce Services (2022), About NBMAP: Equipping mentors with the tools to pass on their knowledge.

[27] MICC (2012), Practising the profession of vocational education teacher, https://www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/publications/en/professions/vocational-education-teacher.pdf.

[26] Miesera, S. and M. Gebhardt (2018), “Inclusive vocational schools in Canada and Germany: A comparison of vocational pre-service teachers’ attitudes, self-efficacy and experiences towards inclusive education”, European Journal of Special Needs Education, Vol. 33/5, pp. 707-722, https://doi.org/10.1080/08856257.2017.1421599.

[8] OECD (2021), Teachers and Leaders in Vocational Education and Training, OECD Reviews of Vocational Education and Training, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/59d4fbb1-en.

[2] OECD (2020), “Canada”, in Education at a Glance 2020: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/43439e03-en.

[4] OECD (2015), A Skills beyond School Commentary on Canada, OECD, Paris, https://www.oecd.org/education/a-skills-beyond-school-commentary-on-canada.pdf.

[7] OECD (2014), Employment and Skills Strategies in Canada, OECD Reviews on Local Job Creation, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264209374-en.

[46] Ontario College of Teachers (2022), Program Accreditation.

[22] Ontario College of Teachers (2022), Registration Guide: Requirements for Becoming a Teacher of Technological Education in Ontario including multi-session programs.

[43] Ontario College of Teachers (2017), Accreditation Resource Guide.

[44] Ontario College of Teachers (n.d.), Quality Assurance Committee.

[25] Québec (2022), Teaching General Education in the Youth Sector, Vocational Training and Adult Education.

[38] Saskatchewan Polytechnic (n.d.), Adult Teaching and Learning.

[23] Saskatchewan Professional Teachers Regulatory Board (n.d.), Types of Certificates, https://www.sptrb.ca/web/SPTRB/Certification/Types_of_Certificates.aspx.

[5] Skolnik, M. (2021), “Issues in Cross-national Comparisons of Institutions that Provide Vocational Education and Training”, Journal of Vocational Education & Training, pp. 1-19, https://doi.org/10.1080/13636820.2021.2008473.

[15] Statistics Canada (2021), Canadian Apprenticeship Registrations and Certifications, https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/71-607-x/71-607-x2020016-eng.htm.

[21] Statistics Canada (2020), New registrations in apprenticeship programs, https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/201209/cg-c001-eng.htm.

[20] Statistics Canada (2020), Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS) Guide, https://www.statcan.gc.ca/en/statistical-programs/document/3154_D2_V5.

[36] UDS (2021), Baccalauréat en enseignement professionnel, https://www.usherbrooke.ca/admission/programme/250/baccalaureat-en-enseignement-professionnel#admission/.

[1] UNESCO-UNEVOC (2013), World TVET database Canada, https://unevoc.unesco.org/wtdb/worldtvetdatabase_can_en.pdf.

[40] Universities Canada (n.d.), How quality assurance works in Canada.

[41] Universities Canada (n.d.), Provincial quality assurance systems, https://www.univcan.ca/universities/quality-assurance/provincial-quality-assurance-systems/.

[37] University of Saskatchewan (n.d.), Technical Vocational Education.

[48] UQAM (2022), Certificate for trainers in the workplace, https://etudier.uqam.ca/programme?code=4550.


← 1. Depending on the university or college, entrepreneurs can engage as mentors, partners, or supervisors for students. As a mentor, they offer students advice and guide them through their own business start-ups/venture creation processes. Some mentors may be embedded in classes. As a partner, they may engage with students who will then help the entrepreneur with his/her/their start-up challenges for course credits. As a supervisor, they would offer the student an internship, in which the student can work with them on their start-up. Entrepreneur support offers students resources, mentorship, funding, and space to gain first experiences in launching a business start-up. See Entrepreneurship (cewilcanada.ca).

← 2. The Ontario College of Teachers licenses, governs and regulates Ontario’s teaching profession in the public interest. It was created by the Ontario College of Teachers Act to: i) issue, suspend and revoke teaching certificates; ii) set ethical standards and standards of practice; iii) investigate and hear concerns and complaints about members; iv) accredit teacher education programs and courses. All publicly funded school teachers and administrators in Ontario must be certified by us and be members of the College.

← 3. In Québec, one credit (or one unit) represents 15 hours of class work and about 30 hours of individual work. A three-year bachelor’s degree generally consists of 90 credits (MICC, 2012[27]).

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