Here are some tips to assist you in discussing the possibility of the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program with your teen:
- Keep in mind how much information is available to your child and the possibility of information overload.
- Consider that the skilled trades are very different from when you were younger and that the level of technology and computerization involved in many of the skilled trades can be very challenging for typical college or university-bound students. These careers require an enormous amount of dedication, intelligence, creativity and adaptability.
- Remember that the career options young people have today significantly outnumber the ones you probably had.
- Consider that a parent can be a valuable resource in the search for suitable employment, but the ultimate responsibility lies with the teen.
Supporting Your Teen’s Decision
Choosing to participate in OYAP is a great way for your teen to discover more about his/her interests, abilities and aptitudes. You can support your teen’s decision by:
- Honouring your teen’s decision. Making a decision about a destination takes courage and strength. Encourage your teen to keep many options open. Lifelong learning means we will all continue to learn and grow;
- Encouraging your son/daughter to research careers in order to gain valuable information about specific job sectors and job market opportunities;
- Helping your teen to develop and recognize the skills for work, such as a positive attitude, task completion, teamwork, and meeting deadlines;
- Providing information on managing time and money;
- Introducing your teen to people you know who work in fields that interest your child. This could lead to a mentorship;
- Encouraging your teen to identify teachers, coaches and part-time employers who can write letters of recommendation for your teen;
- Encouraging you teen to have a back-up plan;
- Reminding your teen that career planning takes time and effort; time to research, time to discuss with others, and time to complete the high school diploma. Career exploration is a process, not a deadline.