For the first time in Ontario, automotive service technician apprentices will be able to earn educational hours online through Canadore College.

This means that students can stay in their hometowns while they work toward fulfilling on-the-job apprenticeship hours, at the same time completing educational requirements.

Dean of trades and technology Mark Lamontagne says the unique model can be quite cost-effective for students, reducing travel and living costs. The hybrid delivery model has been devised by Canadore College to resemble the on-the-job training provided by employers.  The model also allows for constant interaction with employers, instructors, and other apprentices, as well as simulation software.

It is also advantageous for employers who have available apprentices during peak times, allowing students to learn online when a quieter period arises.

The automotive service technician apprenticeship program is regulated by the Ontario College of Trades. Qualified technicians have a minimum of Grade 12 high school education and 7,220 hours of apprenticeship training, 6,500 of which are on-the-job work experience and 720 hours in-school. With Canadore’s hybrid delivery model, over 80 per cent of the educational portion will be delivered online, with the remainder being delivered in the hands-on shop at the college.

The inaugural hybrid program will be offered for the fall semester. Canadore College says the school welcomes approximately 115 apprentices each year in the automotive service technician program levels 1-3. It is anticipated that the program will experience higher enrolment as a result of students being able to access the program from any community, including underserviced areas.