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Apprenticeship Program Requirements and Apprenticeship Completion Rates in Canada


  • Coe, Patrick J.


Over the past two decades there has been considerable growth in the number of new apprenticeship registrations in Canada. However, this has not been matched by a corresponding increase in the number of apprenticeship completions. As a result Canadian apprenticeship programs have seen declining completion rates over this period. Across provinces, trades and time there is considerable variation in apprenticeship completion rates. In Canada apprenticeship programs are provincially regulated and there are differences in requirements across trades and provinces and, to a lesser extent, over time. Therefore, this paper asks to what extent the diff erences in completion rates are related to diff erences in the structure of apprenticeship programs, as well as di fferences in demographic variables and unemployment rates. Results suggest that apprenticeship programs for which certi cation is mandatory have completion rates that are about ten percentage points higher than those without mandatory certifi cation. There is little evidence to support the view that either the length of the work experience term or the technical training requirement act as a barrier to completion. However, there is some evidence to suggest that the format in which technical training is delivered is related to completion rates. While the decline in completion rates during the 1990s coincided with the raising of education requirements, accounting for the trend in completion rates implies a positive relationship between these two variables across trades and provinces. On average, trades with a higher fraction of female apprentices and apprentices with a younger average age tend to have higher completion rates. Finally, in general the results are consistent with high unemployment rates acting as a barrier to completion.

Suggested Citation

  • Coe, Patrick J., 2011. "Apprenticeship Program Requirements and Apprenticeship Completion Rates in Canada," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2011-2, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 27 Jan 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2011-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Phillip Toner, 2008. "Survival and Decline of the Apprenticeship System in the Australian and UK Construction Industries," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 46(3), pages 431-438, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robbie Brydon & Ben Dachis, 2013. "Access Denied: The Effect of Apprenticeship Restrictions in Skilled Trades," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 380, May.

    More about this item


    Apprenticeship Completions; Program Requirements;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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