Confederation College Enhances Mechanical Engineering Program with Apprenticeship Integration


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Employee Community

(THUNDER BAY, ON – May 29, 2024) – Confederation College’s Mechanical Engineering Technician Program now includes embedded apprenticeship levels, aligning post-secondary education with in-demand trade skills and workplace requirements. This strategic inclusion meets apprenticeship classroom standards within the college curriculum, offering a streamlined path for students to transition from academia to industry.

By completing the two-year Mechanical Engineering Technician diploma, students can achieve Millwright levels 1 to 3, satisfying the educational requirements for these apprenticeship levels. Graduates opting for apprenticeships can have their academic records forwarded by the college to the ministry, fulfilling the apprenticeship's educational component, and allowing them to enter the workforce to complete their training.

This training includes the completion of Levels 1,2 & 3 of the Curriculum Training Standard. This approach benefits employers by eliminating the need for apprentices to leave for traditional educational blocks, thereby maintaining workplace productivity.

John Kantola, Dean of Engineering Technology and Trades, emphasizes the program’s importance, “The embedded apprenticeship levels within our Mechanical Engineering Program provide a direct benefit to students and employers by reducing the time between education and skilled work. Our graduates leave with theoretical knowledge and a part of their apprenticeship completed, which is a strong incentive in today's competitive job market."

Although the program includes classroom apprenticeship training, apprentices must still obtain 3-4 years of on-the-job experience to complete the requirements outlined in the Apprenticeship Training Standard. After this period, apprentices can schedule their Certificate of Qualification exam.

Confederation College focuses on delivering education that aligns closely with industry needs, preparing students for immediate entry into the workforce. Integrating apprenticeship levels into the program offers another practical and efficient route for students to become skilled professionals.

For more information on the Mechanical Engineering Program and the embedded apprenticeship, please visit


Confederation College has been serving the citizens of northwestern Ontario since 1967 meeting the educational needs of students in a catchment area of some 550,000 square kilometres. Along with its main campus in Thunder Bay, Confederation College has seven regional sites located in Dryden, Fort Frances, Greenstone, Kenora, Marathon, Sioux Lookout and Red Lake, as well as a growing Distance Education division.    

Confederation College delivers exceptional education and training to an average of 7,000 combined full- and part-time students per year and currently has a total of 600 full- and part-time employees. Confederation’s regional economic impact and contribution is valued at $707.3 million annually.