NAIT is committed to helping apprentices by providing options to complete their training during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Alberta Heads of Trades Apprenticeship, including dean Malcolm Haines, recently met with the province’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) to create a coordinated plan for apprentices in programs that have been disrupted. The plan stresses the health and safety of communities, while valuing academic integrity and supporting apprenticeship progression where possible at this time.
By working together, AIT and Alberta’s trades leaders have found opportunities for consistent decision-making across the province during a challenging time. We have several decisions to share in this update and the solutions offered to apprentices vary. Distance and alternate delivery options will help many apprentices; however, it is inevitable that cancellations will also affect some.
Program decisions – cancellations and distance delivery
The March-April and May-June intakes for apprenticeship training have been cancelled. Cancellations are inevitable at this time and we know this can be stressful.
Programs that have already started classroom instruction, where less than half of the lab or shop-based components have been completed, will be cancelled and apprentices will be able to re-enroll at a later date of their choosing without a financial penalty.
The decision has been made to cancel programs that are between 50%-100% complete, where learning outcomes cannot be achieved. Where these cancellations occur, apprentices will be refunded 100% of their tuition. Any NAIT apprentices who are impacted by this cancellation will receive further instructions from their program by email.
Programs that have already started technical training and more than half of the lab or shop-based components have been completed may be able to complete their final training of theoretical or classroom-based components through distance learning. For some programs, distance delivery is already in place and apprentices can continue in these programs with no disruption. For programs where distance delivery is possible and has not yet begun, these classes will commence on or before March 23 and we ask for your patience as we set up the new online format. Instructors will communicate more details to students.
To ensure apprentices aren’t penalized for missing classes during these challenging times, AIT’s attendance policy with the 3-day threshold will be suspended until regular operations resume.
Apprentices who complete the program in good academic standing will receive credit for the provincial exam. Those completing their program will qualify to write the interprovincial exam, which will be done at a later date as determined by AIT.
Non-technical training programs recognized through AIT will still be able to do provincial examinations. In these cases, there are no postponements. Students in these pre-employment, certificate and diploma programs will need to contact representatives at regional AIT offices when examinations are available and apply through the prior learning assessment process to determine eligibility and schedule an examination sitting.
AIT has communicated these updates to all current apprentices. NAIT’s program chairs will reach out to current apprentices by email as soon as possible with more information on how these decisions impact their program. Please visit AIT’s website for more details. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this challenging time.