Sponsor an Apprentice

Apprentices participating in on-the-job learning must have a sponsor to support them through their apprenticeship program.

A sponsor's role is to support: 

  1. Employment: Ensure the apprentice has appropriate paid employment.
  2. Mentorship: Ensure that a journeyperson mentor provides the apprentice with guidance, feedback, and opportunities to develop their skillsets.
  3. Progression: Encourage and enable the apprentice to progress through their apprenticeship programs

Are you ready to help apprentices be successful in their apprenticeship programs? 

If your organization is a legal entity recognized in Alberta, you can sponsor an apprentice as long as you can fulfill the obligations that come with sponsorship.

Examples of sponsors include:

  • an employer,
  • a consortium of employers,
  • a labour organization,
  • a non-profit organization,
  • or more!

 Five Steps to Sponsoring an Apprentice

1. Learn about program requirements

Be prepared to support your apprentices!

  • Program
    • Visit tradesecrets.alberta.ca/trades to explore the apprenticeship programs offered in Alberta. 
    • Which apprenticeship program will the apprentices you sponsor need to register in? 
    • How many periods, hours of classroom instruction, hours of on-the-job instruction, are required for certification? 
    • Educate yourself so you can better support your apprentices.
  • Ratios
    • Review the required apprentice-to-mentor ratios in Schedule 2 (pages 22 and 23) of the Apprenticeship Education and Industry Training Programs Regulation. 
    • To employ an apprentice, an employer needs to also employ a journeyperson mentor (in the same trade as the apprentice) to provide instruction, guidance, and supervision. 
    • As a sponsor, you must ensure the ratio of apprentices to mentors complies with Schedule 2. 

2. Enter into an Agreement

Find someone who wants to learn a trade, and get started!

If your apprentice is not registered in the apprenticeship education program with AIT, ask them to register online through tradesecrets.alberta.ca/MyTradesecrets.

  • You will receive an email with a link to confirm your sponsorship of the apprentice and enter into an Apprenticeship Education Agreement.
  • You may choose to pay an apprentice's application fee online.
  • You may be asked to approve any previous work experience the apprentice has for credit toward their program.

If your apprentice was already registered through a different sponsor, complete and sign a Notice of Acceptance form to register your sponsorship of the apprentice.

  • Have your apprentice sign the notice and upload it to their MyTradesecrets account through the Applications tab.
  • Ask to see their Apprentice ID Card or visit the visit the Check Credentials tool to confirm their period.
  • Call the AIT Information Line at 1-800-248-4823 if they have questions about the status of their apprenticeship.

3. Provide Mentorship

Provide your apprentice with paid, on-the-job instruction under the mentorship of a certified journeyperson.

Approximately 80% of an apprenticeship program is on-the-job, so effective mentorship is key. Effective mentorship includes providing apprentices with:

  • information, knowledge, guidance, and opportunities to develop their skillsets,
  • opportunities to integrate what they learn in the classroom with their on-the-job experiences,
  • continual support, monitoring, and feedback, and
  • assessments of their competencies gained from on-the-job training activities.

4. Track Progress

Keep track of and evaluate your apprentice's on-the-job instruction.

  • Verify all hours, months, and work in your apprentice’s competency portfolio (blue book).
    • Ensure both you and the apprentice have completed the appropriate sections to document their hours of on-the-job training and competencies practiced. 
  • At the end of each year, have the apprentice upload their signed off Verification of On-the-job Training and Work Experience pages from their competency portfolio to their MyTradesecrets account.

5. Ensure Apprentice has Time Off to Attend Classes

Part of a sponsor's role is to help the apprentice progress through the apprenticeship program.

This includes attending their required classroom instruction and passing any associated exams. 

  • If your apprentice is eligible to attend training, they will be notified in the spring when class schedules become available for registration. 
  • Apprentices should consult with their employer to determine the most convenient class to register in and receive time off. 
  • Apprentices are eligible to receive Employment Insurance while they are off work to attend class.