Secondary School Apprenticeship (SSA) is a program that provides students in Grades 10 to 12 the opportunity to start an apprenticeship while completing secondary school. Some students have the skills to begin an apprenticeship while they are in high school. Many are already working in a trade and need only to formalize their relationship with their employer.
High School Credits
By participating in a SSA program a student may commence working in the trade, earn up to 16 high school credits when they have a formal Industry Training Authority (ITA) agreement signed by their employer and receive a Secondary School Apprenticeship certificate upon graduation.
What is it about?
A SSA involves part-time work within a trade – something many secondary students are doing anyway. Think about it: you can be earning money and learning valuable skills doing a job you love, getting high school and post-secondary credits for it, and pursuing other academic courses at the same time. Imagine how much more meaningful school will feel, and how far ahead you'll be when you graduate. SSA can give you a great head start on a career – you could be up to two years ahead of your peers in a career in the trades if you participate.
Where is the best place to start?
Like other apprentices, secondary school apprentices need to find an employer who will hire them and commit to their training. See Career Planning for information that will help with your job search. SSA registration is now done only on-line. To register as an SSA student contact your school district’s Career Programs coordinator. Applications for a SSA Scholarship must be received within 5 months of graduation date.
Interested, but just don't know which trade?
If you have an interest in a Secondary School Apprenticeship but are unsure of what type of trade you'd like to pursue, have a look at BC and Red Seal TRADES Programs. This section of our site outlines the wide variety of trades available in BC, and provides detailed information on each one.
Secondary School Apprenticeships aren't just for students who are looking to enter the working world. You might already be a secondary school apprentice and not know it.
If you are a high school student working part-time in a trade, you are probably a "hidden apprentice". By registering as a Secondary School Apprentice, you will be able to earn dual credit for the work you're already doing, become eligible for a $1,000 scholarship, and get a head start on earning your trade certification. Talk to your school's career counselor about the kind of work that qualifies, and about registering as a Secondary School Apprentice.
How do I apply?
See your career counselor.