I'm thinking about getting into the trades, but I'm not sure how to do that? How do I find a job as an apprentice?
- Published on Sunday, 24 February 2013 11:04
- Written by Super User
Dear Working Wise:
I'm thinking about getting into the trades, but I'm not sure how to do that? How do I find a job as an apprentice? Signed Ready to Trade Jobs
The trades are an excellent career option for many reasons.
First, as an apprentice, you spend about 80 per cent of your time earning a wage while you learn on the job from a qualified tradesperson. First-year apprentices earn about half of a journeyman's wage.
As you take more training and get more experience, your pay increases. You spend the remainder of your time taking technical training at a college or technical institution. Apprenticeship programs can last anywhere from one to four years, depending on the trade.
Second, the trades are rewarding. Tradespeople tend to earn good wages plus they have the opportunity to move up into management roles. Many tradespeople also go on to teach apprentices or open their own businesses.
Third, tradespeople are eligible for grants of $1,000 per year for completing their first and second years. They are also eligible for a $2,000 Apprenticeship Completion Grant plus a $500 per year tools deduction on their tax return.
Fourth, there are so many career options within the trades that you are bound to find something you really like. The trades are not limited to Plumbers and Electricians. In Alberta, there are 50 different trades you can apprentice in from Appliance Service Technician to Chef to Well-testing Services Supervisor. For a complete list, check out: http://tradesecrets.alberta.ca.
How to get started
1. Pick your trade. Get as much information as you can about your choices from the Internet, school career counselors, tradespeople you know, or your nearest Apprenticeship and Industry Training Office.
2. Find an employer who will hire you as an apprentice. Getting a job as an apprentice is no different than finding any other job. You can also contact the local union hall for your chosen trade and they might be able to hire you.
3. Apply. Once you have a job, you and your employer need to complete an Apprenticeship Training Application / Contract and return it to the nearest office of the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Branch.
Tips for finding a job as an Apprentice:
· Prepare a professional-looking resumé and cover letter that explains your career goal.
· Dress your best when you go out to meet employers.
· Be courteous and grateful for any help or advice employers provide.
· Search job postings and job boards like the Canada-Alberta Job Bank http://www.jobbank.gc.ca/intro-eng.aspx using the keyword “apprentice”.
· Check with your local union hall about employment opportunities;
· Attend job fairs and talk to employers who hire tradespeople. You can find out about upcoming job fairs at http://humanservices.alberta.ca/jobfairs.
· Visit your nearest Alberta Works office. You can find the office nearest you by clicking on: http://humanservices.alberta.ca/offices.
To get more information about apprenticeship and careers in the trades, visit http://tradesecrets.alberta.ca.
My teenage son is looking for his first job. He is about to start applying at nearby stores so we don’t have to worry about transportation. Do you have any tips for him?
- Published on Monday, 18 February 2013 15:47
- Written by Super User
Dear Working Wise:
My teenage son is looking for his first job. He is about to start applying at nearby stores so we don’t have to worry about transportation. Do you have any tips for him? Signed, Proud Parent
A part-time job is a great way for teens to make extra money and start developing employability skills, like punctuality and time management, which will serve him well for the rest of his life.
Many retail businesses use job application forms. Here are some tips for filling out job application forms.
- Take the application home, if possible, to give yourself more time, a more comfortable environment, and access to all the information you will need to complete the application.
- Ask for two applications in case you make a mess of the first one.
- Just in case you cannot take the application home, bring all of the information you might need, including your: social insurance number, address and postal code, list of past employers, positions, volunteer roles, schools and training programs, start/end dates, and three job reference names with phone numbers.
- Use an erasable pen.
- Follow the instructions carefully.
- Print neatly and clearly.
- If a question does not apply to you, write Not Applicable or N/A.
- Be specific about the type of work you are interested in.
- Bring copies of your resumé—the employer may accept the resumé along with the application form.
- Do not answer application questions by referring the reader to your resumé.
- List your most recent work experience first followed by older experiences. Be sure to include any awards or positive results that you achieved.
- If you do not have any work experience, try to find an opportunity to talk about the useful/relevant skills and experiences that you have gained through your volunteer and extra-curricular activities.
- List your most relevant education and training, including dates you attended the programs, the names of the schools, and any certificates you earned.
- Don’t forget to include short-term training courses, special awards and memberships that you have held or hold if they relate to the job in any way.
- If asked to name a wage expectation, give a range or say that you are open to negotiation. You can check the WAGEinfo web site http://alis.alberta.ca/wageinfo for the current salary ranges of more than 400 occupations.
- Use the “Additional Comments” section to highlight any achievements you haven’t already touched on plus any skills or strengths that relate to the position.
- Double-check the form for spelling, accuracy, and neatness, before you submit it. The overall appearance of your application makes an impression.
If you do not have a resumé:
- Visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) web site http://alis.alberta.ca for free resumé-writing tips; or
- Visit your nearest Alberta Works Centre http://humanservices.alberta.ca/offices and ask for free assistance with writing your resumé.
I have a problem employee. She is rude to my customers, she doesn’t complete all of the tasks that must be done every day, she plays the VLT machines instead of serving customers and she calls in sick a lot, but only on the weekends. Is this enough to fir
- Published on Friday, 15 February 2013 11:45
- Written by Super User
Dear Working Wise:
I have a problem employee. She is rude to my customers, she doesn’t complete all of the tasks that must be done every day, she plays the VLT machines instead of serving customers and she calls in sick a lot, but only on the weekends. Is this enough to fire her and not pay severance? Signed, Bothered Bar-owner
Employees have the right to quit and employers have the right to terminate employees under Alberta’s Employment Standards Code. But, these rights come with responsibilities. The most important one is providing adequate notice.
The length of notice depends on how long the employee has worked for you. In Alberta, the minimum notice required is: one-week’s notice for between three months and two years of service. Employees with two to four years of service are entitled to a minimum of two-weeks notice.
The notice period continues to increase with length of service. For a complete list of notice periods, visit http://humanservices.alberta.ca/es and click on the Termination of Employment and Temporary Layoff fact sheet.
You can choose to give termination pay in lieu of the notice period. A combination of written notice and pay is also acceptable. Employers must pay all wages, overtime, general holiday pay and vacation pay owed to the employee within three days following termination of employment.
There are a number of circumstances when an employer does not have to give notice or termination pay. These circumstances, as you mentioned in your question, are for “just cause”.
Examples just cause include:
- willful misconduct, like theft or deliberately causing damage to the business;
- disobedience, like failure to comply with company policy; and
- deliberate neglect of duty, like not showing up or leaving without permission.
Employers need adequate documentation to back up their decision to terminate an employee for just cause.
Documentation provides a record of unacceptable employee behaviour, proof the employee was made aware of their performance problems, and evidence of the employer’s efforts to correct the behaviour.
Documentation can include things like: details of meetings with the employee, copies of emails, letters of reprimand, or time sheets showing missed hours.
When an employee is terminated for just cause, the employer still must pay all wages, overtime, general holiday pay and vacation pay owed to the employee within 10 days of termination.
Unfortunately, I can not give you a definitive answer to your question. Employers who terminate employees for cause risk paying expensive wrongful dismissal cases if they lack adequate proof.
A lot depends on how serious the misconduct has been, how many times it has happened and how well you have documented it.
To explore how strong your case is for just cause, you should seek legal advice. The Law Society of Alberta offers a free lawyer referral service by calling 1-800-661-1095.
For more information on employment standards related to terminations, visit http://humanservices.alberta.ca/es or call the toll-free Alberta Employment Standards phone line at 1-877-427-3731.