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What is OYAP?

An Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) student is a student who is earning cooperative education credits for their co-op experience in an apprenticeship occupation. The student earns co-op credits and hours/competencies towards their apprenticeship certification by participating in a co-op placement with organizations and companies in the local community.

OYAP student also have the opportunity to be officially registered as apprentices at no cost to the student or placement. Visit the OYAP website​ for more information. 

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) encourages eligible high school students over teh age of 16 (Grade 11 or 12 students with a minimum of 16 credits) to explore career opportunities in the skiled trades through co-op placments with community partners.

How can employers participate in OYAP?

  • Opportunities for employers to help students learn more about the skilled trades include:
  • Hosting tours of your workplace for elementary and secondary students
  • In-school presentations on the skilled trades to elementary and secondary students
  • Job Shadow/Job Twinning – ½ to 1 day of observation of skilled trades work sites for Grade 9/10 students
  • Work Experience –1 week to 1 month work placements in the skilled trades for Grade 9/10 students
  • Cooperative Education Work Placement – a credit earning co-op placement in the skilled trades. The placement could be half-days or full days for Grade 11 or Grade 12 students. Students who have a willing employer can enter into an apprenticeship agreement during their placement. Upon graduation from high school the student may continue in a full-time apprenticeship with the sponsoring employer, or transfer his/her apprenticeship agreement to a new employer.

What are the benefits?

 Your organization has the opportunity to:

  • participate in the education of today’s youth;
  • identify potential future employees;
  • develop supervisory skills in employees;
  • utilize motivated students who are willing to learn and take on new tasks;
  • develop greater understanding between the community and today’s youth;
  • promote employment opportunities in the skilled trades to young people in your community;
  • evaluate potential employees on a trial basis before making the commitment to register him/her as an apprentice or hire him/her as an employee;
  • develop a close liaison between your business and community schools.

How do I hire an OYAP student?

Students are available for work either half days (am) or (pm) or full days typically from mid Sept. to mid January or mid February to mid- June. Employers register on-line through our YRDSB Employer Registry. Information will be sent out to the schools and they will connect with you directly to discuss student placements.

The “placement supervisor” interviews interested students to see if there is an appropriate match. The supervisor works alongside the teacher monitor to assist with the development of the Personalized Placement Learning Plan (PPLP), and to provide formative evaluation of the student’s work performance.

Do I have to pay the student?

Students do not normally receive a salary or wage for the hours stated on their Work Education Agreement as this is an education program in which students earn credits. Students, however, are permitted to receive an honorarium or an expense and/or transportation allowance from their placement.

If students stay at their placement beyond the hours specified on the Work Education Form, they may be hired as employees and paid. Such an arrangement shall not involve the school or the teacher. In specialized programs students are eligible to be paid. The placement is then responsible for all the insurance and other responsibilities associated as an employer.

What are the costs associated with the program?

The costs are in your time, time to support, advise and supervise the student’s work progress. WSIB expenses are covered by the Ministry of Education.

 Is it safe?

Health and Safety instruction for students participating in Cooperative Education programs and work experience is the shared responsibility of the teacher and the placement supervisor. Students in specialized placements such as medical institutions or those participating in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) will have specific safety guidelines they will have to adhere to in order to be eligible to participate. Students and their supervisors are required to complete a YRDSB Safety Training Agreement.  

Is there Insurance Coverage?

Most students participating in a Cooperative Education programs are covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997. To ensure coverage, a Ministry of Education Work Education Agreement form must be completed and signed by all parties prior to student placement.

Students, who in special circumstances (such as Specialized Programs) receive an hourly wage or salary, must be covered by the employer for Workplace Safety and Insurance Act coverage.

If students stay at their placement beyond the hours stated on their Work Education Agreement and become part-time or full-time employees of the placement and are paid, Workplace Safety and Insurance coverage becomes the responsibility of the employer.

Board Liability Insurance

Students and training organizations are insured against a lawsuit arising out of the negligence of the student while performing the duties of the co-op placement. The Board does not cover personal injuries to the student.

Student Accident Insurance

Student Accident Insurance is made available to all York Region District School Board students. This insurance is optional and is paid for by students and parents. All Cooperative Education students are strongly encouraged to purchase a policy.

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