Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
If I’m not from Edmonton, where will I live while I’m in the program?
WBF has 42 units of affordable housing for WBF students. 18 of these units are for women with children. WBF staff works with out-of-town students to place them in these units, or to help find other suitable housing to meet their needs while enrolled in the WBF program.
What is apprenticeship?
Apprenticeship typically takes 3-4 years and includes on-the-job training under the direct supervision of a qualified journeyman plus completing a certain number of weeks per year in-school technical training. Together, this training and education can enable an apprentice to become a journey-level worker who has thoroughly learned a craft and who can adjust to technological change and a variety of jobs.
What is the WBF program environment like?
WBF programs offer you supportive, safe environment in which you can build skills, confidence and a belief in the attainability of a non-traditional career. Career development and job coaching services complement our skills training to support graduates so that they can secure and retain a high wage career.
What wage can I expect to earn?
It depends on which trade you chose, your experience and the sector in which you choose to work (residential, commercial or industrial). Best of all, because the apprenticeship process is an "earn while you learn" system, there is no accumulated student loan debt to pay off at the end. For more specific occupational information visit www.tradesecrets.gov.ab.ca.
Will I get hired once I complete the program?
WBF is proud of our graduate placement record. Over 95% of our graduates are successful in securing and maintaining employment in the trades.
What is workplace culture awareness?
This part of the program prepares students to enter a pre-dominantly male workforce. It will help you understand what it will be like on the worksite and what you can do to be successful in that kind of environment. For many women the construction sector is very different from places they’ve worked in the past.
What job growth opportunities are there for tradespeople?
Once you have your journeyman ticket, many employment options open up. You can continue working within your trade, pick up a complimentary trade, move up as a supervisor or foreman, even move into safety inspection, training or management positions. There is also the option of starting your own business. Apprenticing in the trades is just the beginning of a very flexible career path.
Who is hiring WBF grads?
WBF graduates have been hired to work as heavy equipment operators by Suncor, we have pipefitters working for Ledcor, and others are working with smaller businesses in and around Edmonton. There are more than 40 companies that have hired WBF graduates in the past five years. Graduates find employment as crane operators, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, instrumentation technicians, steamfitters, welders, sheet metal workers, millwrights, boilermakers and more.
Is funding available?
Some funding is available to qualified applicants. Tuition funding comes from a variety of sources, but the primary source is through Alberta Employment and Immigration.
How much do the programs cost?
Program fees vary depending on eligibility for funding and student awards. WBF student advisors will help you explore options.
What are the qualifications of your instructors?
Our skills instructors have their journeyman ticket in their trade. They have extensive experience on a variety of construction sites and instructional experience as well.
Is a high school diploma or GED required for admission?
At this time, a high school diploma or GED is not required for admission, but you must pass a basic math exam and reading comprehension exam. Both math and reading comprehension are essential skills in any trade.