Co-op? OYAP? What Are These Programs All About!?

23 Nov 2017


Looking for new talent but don't know where to begin? 

The best way to ensure a well-trained, eager and engaged future workforce is for dealers to start participating with potential candidates long before they write up their first resume. College and university engagement are a fantastic way to connect with soon-to-be or recent graduates – but a key piece our industry has been missing involves starting the process much sooner than that.

It’s time for our industry to go back to high school!

The opportunities and the potential for engaging with students at the secondary school level are invaluable. These are young people who have yet to select their career pathway, their college or university track, or the route the rest of their lives will take. High school is the ideal time to introduce these future workforce members to the opportunities in automotive – and involving your dealership in experiential education initiatives such as Co-op or OYAP (the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program) is one of the best ways to achieve this.

For those of us who graduated high school long before any of these terms became commonplace (or some of these programs even existed), the terminology around experiential education may prove confusing. So let’s break down the details of the two programs mentioned here – Co-op and OYAP – to help you decide which option might work best for your dealership and your future recruitment plans!

Co-Operative Education (Co-op)

- Career driven, focusing on career exploration & development
- Credits can be tied to ANY in-school subject
- Follows the Ministry of Education policies and procedures
- Must have a Personalized Placement Learning Plan (PPLP) in place for each student
- Earns a student credit towards their diploma
- Students not allowed to perform the duties of a compulsory journeyperson
- No registration possibilities with the MTCU – but may be registered as an apprentice with the MTCU
- No professional membership opportunities
- 2 Co-op credits are a requirement of the Specialist High Skills Major program
- Student with special needs are welcome

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)

- Industry/employer driven, focused on developing skilled workers
- Credits may be tied to a specific technical study or any other subject
- Must meet Ministry of Education AND MTCU policies and guidelines
- The PPLP must include reference to the MTCU’s apprenticeship training standards
- Earns a student credit towards their diploma AND apprenticeship hours/skills for the MTCU
- Students can perform ALL aspects of a compulsory trade under the supervision of a licensed journeyperson
- Registered OYAP students become members of the Ontario College of Trades free of charge until they graduate from secondary school
- 2 credits meet the Co-op requirement of the SHSM program
- Students with special needs are welcome

For more information about connecting with a Co-op program in your area, please contact TADA’s Education Coordinator, Dave Fraser, directly. For more information about the OYAP program, please visit