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parents resource centre

Trade Smart College is registered as a career college under the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005. We currently have one location in Hamilton, Ontario but will be expanding to other cities across the province in the next few years.

The Trade Smart Difference

As a parent of a potential Trade Smart College student, we expect you to have some questions. We will cover a few of the most commonly asked questions below. If you have specific questions or would like to learn more, please reach out to us and we will be happy to discuss with you. We also encourage you to schedule a time for you and your student to visit our campus and learn more about our college.

The Apprenticeship Pathway can be a confusing journey, even for people with experience in the trades. We want to change that, so we have laid out the major milestones your student will hit as they move towards an apprenticeship.

Your Students

apprenticeship pathway

The Apprenticeship Pathway can be a confusing journey, even for people with experience in the trades. We want to change that, so we’ve laid out the major milestones your student will hit as they move towards an apprenticeship.

Reach out to us via the link below and one of our team members will be in touch as soon as possible. We’ll give you an overview of our diploma program and answer any initial questions you might have.

We would like for you to come visit us, take a tour of our campus, and meet our team. We can arrange an individual meeting or you can come to one of our Open House Events. During your visit, we will review the application process, admission requirements and course content.

If you meet our admissions requirements and are eager to start a career in the trades, we will set up an admissions interview. The focus of this interview is on your desire to learn, your work ethic, and your goals for future growth.

Our eight month program begins with two months in the classroom where you will learn the foundational professional skills expected by our Trade Smart Certified employers. A day at the College mimics a realistic day in the trades; classes begin promptly at 7:15AM and end at 4:05PM. Attendance and punctuality is essential to your success in the program.

All of the personal performance and professional skills you learned in class will serve you very well on your internship course. In every trade, apprentices begin by learning the basics, like: organization, preparation, cleaning and material handling. During the internship you learn how to complete these tasks in the field, not in a lab. Approaching them with diligence, attention to detail and enthusiasm will ensure that you stand out to our Trade Smart certified companies.

Throughout your internship you will have weekly check-ins with Trade Smart instructors and receive feedback from your jobsite supervisors. While we do not guarantee anyone a job, you will have a legitimate opportunity to request an apprenticeship from your placement company and begin a flourishing career in your trade. This is, The Apprenticeship Pathway.

Length of Program,
Cost and Credential

Our diploma program is eight months in length. Students spend two months in class, full time, followed by six months on a full time, supervised internship with a Trade Smart Certified Company. Tuition and fees for the program is $11,800.

We are interested in considering students who desire to make a positive change, who are looking for a better career path, and who are willing to put in the hard work required for success. These characteristics will be assessed through your application package and our admissions interview.

Class Size and
Admissions Process

We admit a maximum of 25 students per cohort, and we run six cohorts per year. Through our research, we have determined that we will place 120 to 150 students per year with our certified companies, and we do not accept a student unless we have an apprenticeship opportunity for them.

Once we know how many apprenticeship opportunities we have for a cohort, we recruit potential students. At a minimum, our students must be at least 18 years old, have finished high school, and have a Driver’s License. Given our 25-student cap, we are selective during the admission process. We are interested in considering students who desire to make a positive change, who are looking for a better career path, and who are willing to put in the hard work required for success. These characteristics will be assessed through our application package and admissions interview.

scholarship

Connect with one of our team members to
enter for your chance to win a $500 scholarship

Win one of 15 $500 Trade Smart College scholarships for our May semester. Entering is as easy as filling out the form, connecting with a team member, and we’ll enter you in the draw.

A Day at Trade Smart College

One of the most difficult adjustments for students to make is from the college schedule of haphazard classes throughout the week to the schedule of a full time job. It is unreasonable to expect a student to go from months of mostly midday classes to being at a jobsite from 7AM to 3PM. So a day at Trade Smart College looks like a regular work day in the trades. Classes start at 7:15AM and end at 4:05PM and students must show up on time for every class, every day. By getting used to this cadence in the classroom, students will have no trouble adjusting to the schedule of their practicums. Trades work starts early, and shifts are usually 8-9 hours long, so it is critical that students get accustomed to this before they turn up on a jobsite. We will demonstrate to students how to handle this schedule with ease, so your transition to trades work will be a breeze.

Why are we telling you now about how early our classes start? Shouldn’t we be trying to recruit you, not scare you away? The fact is, our class schedule is a filter. We only take about 125 students each year, and we want those students to be as prepared as possible to succeed in the trades. So if you feel that you can commit to the regular rhythm of work in the trades, contact us to learn more, we would love to hear from you!

FAQ'S

Trade Smart is dedicated to assisting students to gain meaningful employment with our network of certified companies. The main reason why traditional college graduates are unable to secure jobs in the trades is because there is no clear pathway from graduation to employment. At Trade Smart College, our program is based on building that pathway directly to local firms.

8 months. Students spend the first two months in-class full-time, and the next six months on an internship with a local company. Normally, students spend the entire six months with one company.

Currently, tuition for our 8-month program is $11,000, and there are some additional fees for our interview process, textbooks, uniforms and other materials that come to around $800.

The internship is a key stepping stone on the pathway from education to employment. Ours serves two primary purposes. First, the internship courses are the time when students integrate the professional and technical skills of their chosen trade in the real world, not in a lab. Learning isolated tasks in a lab – changing a spark plug, threading pipe, or wiring a junction box is less useful than seeing and participating in an actual project – an oil-change service appointment, replacing a toilet or installing motion-sensor lights for example.
Second, companies that host our students want to hire them if they perform well during their internship. We show our students how to be great employees, they show the host company how well they’ve learned those skills, and the goal is for the company to sign the student as an apprentice. This is how we systematically get more people into rewarding careers in the trades.

Yes. Every student who passes the in-class portion of our program goes on an internship. In fact, we do not admit a student unless we have already secured an internship for them. Any company that takes a student on an internship has committed to holding an apprenticeship opportunity for that student. We do not guarantee that every student will pass their in-class work, or the internship, nor do we promise any student a job after graduation. But we have the apprenticeship pathway ready for every student before we admit them.

Our program is only offered on a full time basis. We do not offer a part time option. Again, we do this deliberately. Trades work is highly coordinated, and there is no work-from-home option for almost every job in the trades. The primary goal of our program is to prepare students to work in the trades, including being able to handle its time and scheduling demands. So we structure our program in the same way that actual trades work is performed. We think it is a mistake to downplay the demands of trades work by offering part time, hybrid, and/or go-at-your-own-pace programs.

Contact the Team

Hamilton Campus

Campus Hours