The Apprentice Retention Program: Evaluation and Implications for Ontario
By Ron Hansen and Catharine Dishke Hondzel from Western University
The Apprenticeship Retention Program (ARP) is the result of the collaboration of the Western University of Western (WU), Fanshawe College (FC), Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities (MTCU), Apprenticeship Network (AN), and Elgin Middlesex and Oxford Workforce Planning and Development Board (EMO WPDB) in developing life skills and resilience for apprenticeship applicants.
The “Apprentice Retention Program: Evaluation and Implications for Ontario” study was done in the fall of 2012 through a series of face-to-face and online workshops, focus groups and interviews. Data was collected from apprentices, former apprentices and employers in regard to issues regarding successful completion of the apprenticeship program and the subsequent placement.
- Employer expectations, financial support and budgeting were the most well received topics by the ARP participants
- Participants expressed a strong desire to receive more face-to-face support and guidance from MTCU employment and training consultants
- Numerous participants indicated that they faced significant challenges during their program and they succeeded to overcome them and complete the program only because they had support and unique opportunities
- The main themes that surfaced from the interviews were: financial support, access to support from MTCU, difficulty with the curriculum, and challenges in their personal life.