The following discussion delves more deeply into two stages that determine longer-term apprenticeship success and entry into the skilled trades: access to apprenticeship opportunity and job matching. Using data tracked through, the following results provide a description of 1) the characteristics of successful apprentice applicants, and 2) the characteristics of employers who have hired through the site.

Characteristics of Successful Applicants

From the data collected by, a profile of successful job-seekers emerges, both in terms of personal background and skill-sets.18 The main demographic characteristics (see Appendix for findings) of successful applicants essentially reflect the broader reality of skilled trades in Ontario.19

Beyond demographic characteristics, the results reveal a number of skill-sets successful applicants hold in relation to apprenticeship and work experience. As shown in Figure 5, the vast majority of applicants possess some apprenticeship and/or work experience. In essence, the successful applicant is an experienced one. This, as we will see, does not suggest successful candidates are older in age: instead they have been highly active in the pursuit of a skilled trade, regardless of age.

Figure 5: Experiential Background of Successful Applicants

When analyzing multiple factors (including other apprentice characteristics) simultaneously, experience clearly remains an important determinant of quality of apprentice candidate. In particular, controlling for other factors including age, work and apprenticeship experience are found to be key in determining the most attractive candidates (see Appendix B).20

While those with little trade-related experience are less likely to have gained an apprenticeship, they still represent a sizeable cohort of successful candidates. Where do these applicants go? Two main findings emerge in Figure 6. First, data from the indicate that less experienced candidates were more likely to find success with voluntary apprenticeships. Secondly, successful applicants with less work or apprenticeship experience are more apt to be in sectors where demand outstrips supply (such as industrial and service sector).