Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Officially An Apprentice

This morning, after a brief message from our Executive Chef, a woman from the Ministry of Ontario showed up with apprenticeship enrollment forms as well as apprenticeship packages for those of us entering the program. We filled out the forms together and she thoroughly explained the requirements to completing our apprenticeship program. It all sounded very serious. Not that I wasn't taking this seriously before she came but her being there made it all finally seem real.

A condensed version of what was explained would go like this:
  • there are 6000 hours that an apprentice is required to have worked in order for the apprenticeship to be considered completed
  • of the 6000 hours, all kitchen experience prior to the formal schooling is considered (so our breakfast cook who has been with the club for 5 years has fulfilled that requirement already before even entering the program)
  • your Employer (read: the executive Chef) is to sign off on all the sections within the apprenticeship booklet that the apprentice (me) has completed.
  • Do not wait till the end of the year to have your book signed because no Chef will be willing to sit down for an hour to sign off on all your units. Go through your book periodically and ensure that as you complete your units your Chef signs off on them.
  • If you already know you will be out of town during the 10-week school period, do NOT enroll in the program as no more than two absences are allowed unless death or dismemberment. (ok, I added the dismemberment part, but that's it in a nutshell)
  • Your schooling counts toward the 6000 hours
  • There are no OSAP loans for this apprenticeship program
  • The cost to you (in my case covered by the employer) is $600. The Ontario government foots the bill for the other $6000 that a culinary program costs.
  • Upon completion of your first year you qualify for a $1000 grant. It is not a scholarship, therefore a mere completion is all that's required for you to get $1000. Another $1000 is given at the end of the second year with an additional $2000 when finishing the apprenticeship program in its entirety. Total grant money per applicant $4000.
  • Do not switch employers during your apprenticeship. If you do, be sure to notify the ministry and have the proper forms completed so the Ministry is aware.
  • Do not change residences during your apprenticeship. If you do, see above point. If you live at home, be nice to your folks because you'll be there a while. Being an apprentice earns you minimal wages so you can't afford to move out on your own.
  • I assume you all have a grade 12 education and expect a fax with proof of same. (**raised hand: sorry ma'am, will a University degree do?"
  • Do not assume you are enrolled in the winter 2010 program as seats are limited and notices have already been sent to those who applied. We guarantee you will go to school, it just might not be in January. (well, f**k me, how come I didn't know this part before?)
  • Go home and wait for your notice.
  • Thanks for coming out.

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