Khalid Lahroudi

Apprenticeship Prep

KhalidAfter arriving to Edmonton from his native Morocco four years ago, Khalid Lahroudi worked as a chef. Despite having 10 years of experience, he says it wasn’t a high-paying job which sometimes resulted in financial stress for him and his wife.

Now, as a graduate of NorQuest College’s Apprenticeship Preparation Pilot Program, Khalid says he’s excited about the range of interesting and well-paid opportunities in Alberta’s plumbing industry. After starting his apprenticeship in Northern Alberta, he is now working in Edmonton.

"The Apprenticeship Prep program gave me the skills I needed to pass the entrance exams and be ready for work in the field," says Khalid, 33. "Now, I have a career to build on."

Launched in January 2012, the program is a partnership between NorQuest College and the Alberta Pipe Trades College. The program focuses on attracting, retaining and preparing young immigrants and Aboriginal adults for careers in the trades.

"NorQuest College's Apprenticeship Prep program is a great opportunity for people who may not currently have the skills or the connections to get into the trades," says Elaine McPhee, Chair of Literacy and Essential Skills at NorQuest College. "Program graduates are more employable and can look forward to stronger job prospects."

During the four-month academic portion of the program offered by NorQuest, students focus on science, math, reading skills, computer literacy and workplace culture. These essential skills can help learners successfully challenge the apprenticeship entrance exam and prepare for work experience in their chosen field.

Upon completion of the academic portion, students whose chosen path is in the pipe trades (welding, plumbing, pipefitting, steamfitting or related trades) enter a 10-week training session at Alberta Pipe Trades College. Students choosing non-pipe trades programming receive placements for the work experience component of the program. As an added bonus, the Local Union 488 will help pipe trades program graduates find work placements.

The pilot program supports NorQuest College’s mandate to provide workforce relevant programming. Ensuring programs are 100 per cent workforce relevant is an area of focus for the College.

If you are interested in applying for the program, or if you require more information, please call 780.644.5800.

The Apprenticeship Prep program gave me the skills I needed to pass the entrance exams and be ready for work in the field. Now, I have a career to build on.