Apprenticeship Network

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Serving employers, youth & job seekers in the cities, towns and counties of Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford.


2013 Apprenticeship Employer Recognition Award Winners

Every year The Apprenticeship Network recognizes employers in the surrounding communities with the Apprenticeship Network Employer Champion Awards. For the 2013 awards, the nominees were honoured at the 9th Annual Apprenticeship Employer Recognition Awards held on November 21, 2013 at Saffron’s Restaurant. Nominees from each of the four sectors were represented (Construction, Industrial, Service, Motive Power). These employers were nominated because of their outstanding support to the apprenticeship experience and the different apprenticeship programs. Master of Ceremonies Mark Harrison (Service Delivery Manager at London’s local Apprenticeship Office), led guests through an evening of fun and celebration which recognized not only the outstanding employers in the room but also the importance of apprenticeship. Guest speaker Tom Delaney (General Manager at Oxford Dodge Chrysler and FIAT London) spoke to guests about why, as a business man, he believes ongoing support and involvement for apprenticeship and coop programs is essential to the workforce. Mr. Delaney discussed how apprenticeship secures the future of businesses while also keeping the culture and values intact. While helping businesses to adapt to new technologies and gain fresh perspectives, apprenticeship also ensures that hard won knowledge and experience are passed down to future workers to guarantee businesses are not destined to repeat mistakes over and over again. Mr. Delaney also addressed the growing issue of youth unemployment.

“Apprenticeships have historically played an important role in our economy and society, supporting young people in the always difficult school-to-work transition and ensuring workers have skills of direct relevance across a range of industries. With youth unemployment reaching record highs…and the cost of a university education becoming increasingly out of reach for many, the availability of such a structured path into a trade or profession makes more and more sense. In addition, the apprenticeship model goes beyond teaching the hard skills associated with the chosen trade- it teaches life skills, the ability to problem solve, apply critical thinking, manage projects and resources- skills that serve us all well in many areas of our lives”.

Following the guest speaker came the main event; the awarding of the 2013 Apprenticeship Network Employer Champion Awards.

In the Construction sector the nominees included:

  • R.A. Barnes Electrical Contractors Ltd.
  • Hyde Park Plumbing
  • Ambrose Plumbing & Heating Ltd.

The winner for the 2013 Apprenticeship Network Employer Champion Award was R.A. Barnes Electrical Contractors Ltd. R.A. Barnes has been training apprentices since 1982 and has been actively involved in engaging young workers, particularly in the OYAP program. Students are taught invaluable work skills, the value of a hard day’s work, and the importance of being on a team. In addition, students have learned about the electrical trade and have begun to gain the skills necessary to begin their apprenticeship. Under the guidance from R.A. Barnes, students have excelled.

In the Industrial sector the nominees included:

  • Rho-Can
  • Lumar Machine & Manufacturing Ltd.
  • Vari-Form Inc.
  • Parmerit Inc.

The winner for the 2013 Apprenticeship Network Employer Champion Award was Parmerit Inc. Parmerit Inc. stood out because of the great work environment and attitude that the apprentices emanate. The company appreciates apprentices work as an important part of the wheel that makes things work so well. Parmerit takes part in the OYAP program and has hired some of them to stay on. In addition, they participate in “Bring Your Kids to Work Day”, encourage job shadowing, and interact with the Community Employment Services in Strathroy and Fanshawe College to hire new employees. The apprentices at Parmerit Inc. are very positive and enthusiastic because of the attitude which flows from the top. The company encourages learning modules whereby apprentices can come in to use machines and tools in their off time to enhance their skills on their own projects.

For the Service sector the nominees included:

  • Village Harvest Bakery
  • La Casa Ristorante
  • First Choice Haircutters St. Thomas
  • First Choice Haircutters Strathroy

The winner for the 2013 Apprenticeship Network Employer Champion Award was First Choice Haircutters St. Thomas. They provide coop opportunities for students and have successfully mentored graduates from the Thames Valley District School Board Adult Leaning Centre hair styling program to the completion of their apprenticeship. Apprentices have the opportunity to work in an environment where a professional demeanor, a strong work ethic and a client-focused service model are exemplified. At First Choice St. Thomas, apprentices are encouraged to expand their skills and are supported when providing a service they may be completing for the first time.

For the Motive Power sector the nominees were:

  • Elgin Motor Freight
  • Oxford Dodge
  • The 2013 winner of the Apprenticeship Network Employer Champion Award was Elgin Motor Freight. This employer consistently offers opportunities for apprenticeship to young people who are interested in the Truck and Coach trade. Over the years, they have worked with candidates to aid and support them as they go back to school, do upgrading, and as they deal with life events. Elgin Motor Freight believes in developing quality technicians through quality on-the-job training and in-school apprenticeship programs. They have been an important part of the Pre-Apprenticeship, Co-op Diploma, and regular two year programs. They have consistently offered placements and full time employment to students who complete placements with them. The staff at Elgin Motor Freight have participated in employer panels, and Program Specific Employer Committees to help continue to bridge students from school to work and ensure quality programming.

    In 2013, the Apprenticeship Network had the honour of awarding an Apprenticeship Network Employer Champion Award in the category of ‘Rookie of the Year’ to Village Harvest Bakery. Over the years, Village Harvest Bakery has taken on a number of placements through Employment Ontario provider Youth Opportunities Unlimited. Whether it is employment, job trails, shadowing, summer job programs, this employer is committed to providing learning and training for youth in need. Village Harvest Bakery goes above and beyond in training apprentices, encouraging them to practice outside of work, sharing recipes and providing one on one support.