Before training: Resources to improve your essential skills

Talk to people

Before you begin your training, it is a good idea to talk to people who can answer questions about apprenticeships, provide information to help you prepare for training and offer tutoring to help you improve your essential skills.

People who could help you include:

  • other apprentices who have completed some or all of their training
  • people from the college or school you will be attending
  • your apprenticeship training coordinator or field officer
  • people you know who work in the trades
  • family and friends

Gather information and create lists

Create lists of people, community resources and Web sites to prepare you for your training and help you succeed in your apprenticeship program. Write down names/titles, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and Web sites, as needed.

Activity: Create a list of people to contact.

Name                                   Contact information

__________________       _______________________

__________________       _______________________

__________________       _______________________

__________________       _______________________

Activity: Create a list of community resources.

My local library:

___________________________________________

My local community college:

___________________________________________

My training school's learning centre:

___________________________________________

An adult learning centre in my community:

___________________________________________

My trade union:

___________________________________________

Activity: Create a list of Web sites that provide information on trades and/or skills upgrading.

___________________________________________

___________________________________________

___________________________________________

___________________________________________

___________________________________________

___________________________________________

___________________________________________

Practice your essential skills

Decide which of your essential skills need to improve. Practice these skills at least two to three months before your training begins. Use the following tips to help you get started:

  • Review your textbooks and training materials before the start of classes.
  • Get help from different sources. Use your list of resources as a guide.
  • Go to your local library or search the Internet to find books, materials, tutorials or courses on skills upgrading.
  • Contact your local Adult Leaning Centre for skills upgrading tutorials and courses.
  • Contact the student services at your local college or training school to find out if they offer courses to help you upgrade your skills or prepare for in-class training.
  • Contact your trade union and ask about support services for members.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are my reading skills strong enough to read textbooks and other class materials?
  • Do I need to upgrade my math skills to do trades calculations?
  • Am I confident that I can write notes that are clear and concise?

Set goals and keep track of achievements

Write down your learning goals and keep track of when you achieve them. Make sure you include what you want to achieve and by what date. Leave space to "check off" the goal when you have achieved it. Set small goals that are realistic for you. For example: "I will complete one set of exercises on fractions by Friday before the hockey game."

Activity: Write your goals for the next two weeks.

Goal(s)                                                          Completed

___________________________________             ❑

___________________________________             ❑

___________________________________             ❑

___________________________________             ❑

___________________________________             ❑

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