May 15, 2017
By J. Alex Gibson
LO Eastern Ontario Apprenticeship

Alex Gibson

Myth 1: Apprenticeship is time consuming and will take away an employee

The Apprenticeship Program is a mix of 80 per cent on-the-job training and 20 per cent in-class sessions. An apprentice works regular hours on-the-job for his employer. In-class sessions are held in winter months, and each apprentice is required to complete two 12-week sessions. The program encourages employers to move the apprentice into different roles within the company (ie: if they are on a maintenance crew, moving them to a hardscaping crew for a project to help meet training requirements). The only additional work is a training log book, which must be kept and signed off on.

Myth 2: There is no benefit to an employer

In reality, there are a number of huge benefits to training staff through the Apprenticeship Program:
  • Increased retention and loyalty to your company.
  • Better performance and on-the-job knowledge.
  • Improved quality of workmanship.
  • Cost-effective and nationally recognized designation.
  • Grant money and tax incentives.
On average, an employer receives a benefit of $1.47 for every $1 invested in apprenticeship training.

Myth 3: Apprenticeship is a job pool that you can hire staff from

Unfortunately, Apprenticeship is not a labour pool. The program is designed to offer cost-effective training for current employees within your company. If you have staff you want to develop and train, Landscape Ontario can help you access the program. It is the most cost-effective method of training for employers and has a number of benefits beyond training.

Myth 4: Apprenticeship is just for people who did not attend college or post-secondary education

While Apprenticeship is different from a traditional diploma program, it is not exclusively for those without post-secondary education. In successful business models, an employee can never have too much education. The Apprenticeship Program is designed to provide a more practical and hands-on approach to learning. Even students coming out of a diploma program in horticulture can benefit from Apprenticeship.

Myth 5: I can wait until December to register my employees for the Apprenticeship Program

You can register staff for the Apprenticeship Program year-round. However, as the program gains momentum across the province and enrolment increases, the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be for your employee to get into the classroom training for that year. The in-class sessions are held at many post-secondary institutions across the province, but the number of spaces within each college or university is very limited.

Also, the grants and tax incentives for the Apprenticeship Program are time sensitive, so the earlier you and your staff register, the quicker you can both access those benefits. Landscape Ontario is here to help with the registration process from start to finish, so there is no excuse not to get the paperwork complete.
For more information on apprenticeship, contact Alex Gibson at or 613-809-5093 or visit