Training on the Job

Internships and Coop programs

Many youth, while going through school and after completing their education, must find their way into the labour force. The challenge of "no experience, no job; no job, no experience" makes it hard to find career-related experience. For youth with hearing loss, who are underrepresented in the labour force, this challenge is further complicated. There are several programs offered in the public and private sectors across Ontario, with the aim of helping youth gain those important first steps into the employment experience. If you need advice, ideas or assistance, please contact and insert "Employment Training" in the subject line.

Career Edge/Ability Edge

The Career Edge Organization has worked with over 1000 employers across Canada to provide meaningful work experiences through paid internships to over 10,000 talented interns since 1996.  It operates three paid internship programs: Career Edge for recent graduates from Canadian universities and colleges, Ability Edge for graduates with disabilities and CareerBridge for internationally qualified professionals. The Career Edge Organization provides strategic staffing solutions including online access to candidates, payroll administration and HR expertise to help employers recruit, hire and retain quality talent.  Interns benefit from on the job coaching and training in a supportive and professional environment.  For more information or to register, visit:
Career Edge/Ability Edge
181 Bay Street, Suite 2400
P.O. Box 783
Toronto, ON M5J 2T3
Toll free: 1-888-507-3343

City of Toronto

The City of Toronto is the largest city in Canada and employs over 39,000 city workers in more than 4000 different types of work. It encourages applications from people with disabilities, women, Aboriginal peoples and visible minorities. People with disabilities interested in working for the City of Toronto can find available jobs advertised on the city's Web site, or by calling the phone number listed below. Résumés submitted with employment applications are kept in the city's database for 12 months for future consideration. For more information contact:
The City of Toronto
Employment Services, Human Resources
55 John Street, 5th Floor
Toronto, ON M5V 3C6
Employment: 416-392-8665
Fax: 416-397-9818

Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP)

FSWEP is the primary program through which the Public Service of Canada recruits full time post-secondary youth for temporary employment. Some 8000 youth are hired per year. Interested youth should apply online at: . The registration form asks youth to list their employment and academic experience, skills, and career interests. Federal departments looking to fill positions then have access to the database, which lists applicants who fit the needs of each employment opportunity. Eligible youth are contacted for an interview if their name comes up in the database. Given the federal government's stated commitment to hiring people with disabilities, applicants are encouraged to self-identify at the time of application. The application process is open year-round, but the earlier in the year you apply the more employment opportunities there will be. Apply online at:

Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program

The Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program helps potential youth in the apprenticeship system to develop their job skills and trade readiness so that they will be prepared to find work as apprentices. Programs are up to 40 weeks in duration and include the Level 1 apprenticeship in-school training, relevant safety training and a minimum 8-week work placement. Programs may also include trade readiness, employment preparation and academic upgrading. There is no cost to participate in a pre-apprenticeship program. In addition, costs for text books, safety equipment and tools are included.

The Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program is open to a wide range of clients including:

  • High School graduates
  • Early school leavers
  • Unemployed/underemployed youth and adults
  • EI/Non-EI Eligible
  • Aboriginal peoples
  • Newcomers to Canada

Pre-Apprenticeship programs are offered by different organizations, such as colleges, approved apprenticeship deliverers, community agencies, at various times throughout the year. Individuals interested in participating in a Pre-Apprenticeship Program can apply directly to the organizations providing the training. To find out about local program offerings, individuals can contact the Ministry.

Toll-Free Phone: 1-800-387-5656
TTY: 1-866-533-6339


The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) has an apprenticeship program in place. An apprentice is someone who learns a skilled trade on the job under the direction of more experienced workers. Apprentices also complete classroom instruction as a part of their training. Apprentices are employees, and earn a salary while they learn a skilled trade. The Ontario government has a number of ways to help you get started in an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship Scholarships

MTCU offer scholarships to youth who have completed their academic upgrading in order to become registered apprentices.

Apprenticeship Training

Apprenticeship is an on-the-job training program for people who want to work in a skilled trade or occupation. A list of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Apprenticeship Offices across the province can be found at

Co-op Diploma Apprenticeship Program

The Co-op Diploma Apprenticeship Program combines a college diploma program and apprenticeship training leading to a Certificate of Qualification. In other words, it can help students train as an apprentice while completing a related college course. First, you need to locate an employer who is willing to train you. A $40 fee is usually required to register as an apprentice.

Loans for Tools Program

The Ontario government can assist you in purchasing the tools you need for your trade.

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)

OYAP helps young people obtain placements in 130 skilled trades that can be learned through apprenticeship training while in high school.

Options to consider when looking at apprenticeships:

If you're still in high school, you may be interested in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program. Check with

At the college level, there's the Co-op Diploma Apprenticeship Program. Check with

If you've left high school before graduation, you may want to consider Pre-Apprenticeship Training. Check with

Academic upgrading is available through the Literacy and Basic Skills Program. Check with

Ontario Internship Program

The Ontario Internship Program (OIP) offers two-year paid positions in a wide range of ministries and agencies across the Ontario Public Service (OPS). This entry-level program is open to people who have graduated with a recognized degree, post-diploma (graduate) certificate or a diploma within the past two years.

MNR Internship Program

The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) provides up to 10-month internships for post-secondary students or recent graduates to work as resource technicians, ecologists, biologists, systems officers, foresters and communications officers for key MNR projects.

First Nations Natural Resources Youth Employment Program

This program with the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is coordinated and administered in partnership with Confederation College and industry partners. This two-year program provides Aboriginal youth aged 17-24 (some exceptions may be negotiated through First Nations communities) from First Nations communities in Northern Ontario the opportunity to work on forestry projects, receive workplace training and take personal development workshops.

Transportation Technician Program

This three-year entry-level Ministry of Transportation (MTO) program for civil engineering graduates provides practical, multifunctional learning experiences through rotational assignments in many disciplines, including construction, highway design, program planning, and maintenance.

Transportation Engineering Development Program

A four-year development program with the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) for recent civil or geotechnical engineering university graduates, provides practical, mentored multidisciplinary learning experiences through rotational assignments in regional and head office locations including construction and maintenance, highway design, program planning, structural, traffic and materials engineering.

Environment Engineer Internship Program

The program is designed to attract, recruit and retain a diverse pool of future engineers to the Ministry of Environment. This is a four year program for recent graduates who have obtain a minimum of a Bachelor's degree in chemical, civil, environmental or mechanical engineering disciplines. The program provides non-licensed individuals with the work experience required to obtain their P.Eng license.

Articling with the Ministry of the Attorney General

This Ministry hires approximately 100 articling students each year, providing opportunities across the province to specialize in almost every area of substantive law, including constitutional, criminal, health, environmental, family, tax, corporate, commercial, labour and employment law.

Ontario Legislature Internship Program

The Internships are open to recent graduates of Canadian universities who have an interest in and knowledge of the legislative process. While most applicants have an academic background in the political science field, they welcome applications from people of all areas of study. You must be enrolled in a co-operative education in a post-secondary school, Canadian citizen or legally entitled to work in Canada and be 18 years of age or older for field positions.

Ontario Public Service (OPS) Learn and Work Program

The OPS Learn and Work (L&W) Program is a specialized co-operative education program that re-engages youth ages 16 to 19 from selected priority communities. The program provides students with the opportunity to earn credits towards their high school diploma and paid work experience in the OPS and/or related agencies.

Northern Ontario Youth Internship and Co-Op Program

Through this co-op program, young northerners have access to work placements and internships that serve as a springboard to rewarding and successful careers. Private and public sector employers located in Northern Ontario involved in the following areas: health care, social services, value-added manufacturing, emerging technologies, environmental sciences, and other activities that will result in an economic or social development advantage for Northern Ontario, have these programs.

Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation
70 Foster Drive, Suite 200
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 6V8
fax: 1-705-945-6701 or 1-800-461-8329