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.
    • If you do not have access to this email, you can log in to your Alberta.ca Account and click Go to dashboard to access the application. You will need to log in with the same email address the apprentice used to identify you on their application.
  • 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.