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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've received an offer for work from a small-scale EC in my area. I'm trying not to get too excited, because something seems a bit off. He says I'll work for him on a probationary basis for 3 months and then get registered if all goes well in that time.

I've been told by many ECs to watch out for shysters that will either use me up and spit me out or string me along indefinitely. My understanding of the law in Ontario is that electrical work cannot be done by anyone who is not a licensed EC or their apprentice, hence the red flag.

Is this something you all think I should bother with? Or should I run the other way and hold out for something more legitimate? I get why an EC would want to vet their apprentices, but do I really want to work for one that will skirt the law to do so?

And where can I get more information about the rules in Ontario regarding working for ECs as a non-apprentice? I want to make sure I know my rights, as well as the EC's rights.

EDIT: Number 8 on this page is exactly the kind of information I'm talking about. It sounds like I could also be putting myself in danger of a fine if I were to work for this guy...

It is against the law to do the work of an electrician or registered apprentice without being in possession of a Contract of Apprenticeship registered to your current employer. The IBEW Local 586 Ottawa was recently successful in lobbying the Ontario Liberal Government in their announcement of “on the spot ticketing” for this common place violation by law breaking unscrupulous electrical contractors. The fines are set at $195.00 for the unregistered worker and $295.00 for unprincipled employer.
 

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All I can say is that if I were to take on an apprentice, I'd probably do
it the same way your prospective employer is doing it.
Good Luck,
P&L
 
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Many years ago (before we had to hold the youngsters hands), it was the practice to do a 3 month trial. It gave enough time for the employer and the prospective apprentice to see if the trade was right for the kid.
We weeded out the useless ones.
Now, with having to indenture the kid immediately, the trade has a bunch of whiny 1st years who shouldn't be in construction let alone the trade.
Tell your new boss, you will take the deal, as long as he signs off on paying your portion of the fine if you get caught.
Then work your butt off, and show him you belong in the trade and he will be proud to say he trained you.
 

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I'm not in Ontario but I agree with P & L. There's no way I would indenture a new guy first day unless I knew him well. Sure, it's bending the rules but, if I indenture him and he turns out to be a dud, another EC is going to hire my dud. I have loyalty to other EC's.

What do you have to lose? Even if this EC turns out to be a loser, you will have electrical experience on your resume and that's more than you have now.

I bet half the guys on this site got their start with bad EC's.
 

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Many years ago (before we had to hold the youngsters hands), it was the practice to do a 3 month trial. It gave enough time for the employer and the prospective apprentice to see if the trade was right for the kid.
We weeded out the useless ones.
Now, with having to indenture the kid immediately, the trade has a bunch of whiny 1st years who shouldn't be in construction let alone the trade.
Tell your new boss, you will take the deal, as long as he signs off on paying your portion of the fine if you get caught.
Then work your butt off, and show him you belong in the trade and he will be proud to say he trained you.
The labour laws with respect to any job, for the most part, have a 3 month trial period. Meaning you can let them go within that period for almost any reason. And there's not much the employee can do about it.

That being said, with the ability to register apprentices on-line, at least here in BC, it takes no time to indenture an apprentice. If you have to cut them loose within the 3 months, you submit their hours, on-line, and they're no longer your apprentice.

And, if they list an employer with less than 240 hours worked, that would be a red flag, IMO.

I know paper work is a bitch, but really the on-line process is fast.

As to the OP, like others have said, take it and work your @$$ off.
 

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This story will be no help to the op, but it's kinda funny.
Dozen years ago I was working on a res tract site. As a
3rd yr apprentice I was in charge of the house we were
wiring. After a while I noticed it was quiet. Not just that
house, the whole block. Turned out I was the last to know
the Min of Labour had showed up. Heard stories later of
all the guys running out back doors and jumping out windows
then a herd of them running across the adjacent field. Don't
think the MoL gave out any fines that day. Some guys worked
2 years before getting an apprenticeship at that co.. BUT, I
know at least a couple of those guys are licensed now......
maybe this could be useful to the OP.
P&L
 

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I've received an offer for work from a small-scale EC in my area. I'm trying not to get too excited, because something seems a bit off. He says I'll work for him on a probationary basis for 3 months and then get registered if all goes well in that time.

I've been told by many ECs to watch out for shysters that will either use me up and spit me out or string me along indefinitely. My understanding of the law in Ontario is that electrical work cannot be done by anyone who is not a licensed EC or their apprentice, hence the red flag.

Is this something you all think I should bother with? Or should I run the other way and hold out for something more legitimate? I get why an EC would want to vet their apprentices, but do I really want to work for one that will skirt the law to do so?

And where can I get more information about the rules in Ontario regarding working for ECs as a non-apprentice? I want to make sure I know my rights, as well as the EC's rights.

EDIT: Number 8 on this page is exactly the kind of information I'm talking about. It sounds like I could also be putting myself in danger of a fine if I were to work for this guy...
Law is law and if we are not abiding by current labor law then whats the point of getting a license? This so called contractor is not playing by the rules and how can an honest EC compete with an EC that does not run an honest business?
This should be a good indicator of what this EC is going to be like to work for.
I agree with a probationary period but he should know in 2 weeks tops whether someone is a good fit or not.
You should be hired as a helper and the only tools you should be using are a broom and your back. if the EC wants you to touch wiring he needs to register you and pay you accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone for your input. I worked for him today and he seems great so far. He's already taken great interest in showing me new skills and explaining the work that's being done, even at the expense of getting things done faster (obviously he could have done things more efficiently himself). He's made it clear that any hours accrued during those three months will be counted toward my apprenticeship. I feel pretty good about working for him after today.

Law is law and if we are not abiding by current labor law then whats the point of getting a license? This so called contractor is not playing by the rules and how can an honest EC compete with an EC that does not run an honest business?
This should be a good indicator of what this EC is going to be like to work for.
I agree with a probationary period but he should know in 2 weeks tops whether someone is a good fit or not.
You should be hired as a helper and the only tools you should be using are a broom and your back. if the EC wants you to touch wiring he needs to register you and pay you accordingly.
NDC, I don't know which law trumps — the ESA (which allows probationary periods) or whatever law it is that states that electrical work must be done by electricians or their apprentices. I'm prepared to turn a blind eye and sit through the 3 months' probation, given that this fellow seems to be keeping everything above board. And after all, he may be fully within his rights.

What do you mean, exactly by 'paying me accordingly?' He took me on at $14/h, which seems fair. I think the 1st term apprentice wage is supposed to be 50% of the starting journeyman wage... but what's that actually equate to? Basically, given that this company is non-union, does $14/h sound fair?

Thanks again, everybody!
 

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Right on Syntax! Sounds like you've lucked out and found a good
guy to start with.
Regarding pay, the whole percentage of licensed pay thing applies
to unions and means nothing in non union shops. Employers are
free to do whatever they want including paying better guys more
than lesser guys regardless of there time in the trade, or any other
way they want to do it. Bottom line though is don't worry about
pay rate right now, focus on learning and working hard.
P&L
 
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Congratulations on scoring a job.
Assuming you work in the trade for the next 30 years, you have just been handed an extra 1.2 million dollars over the average $20 per hour employee.
Don't blow it!


Some of the provinces ( Manitoba for one) have passed laws which set the minimum rate that apprentices must be paid. This can either be a percentage of the prevailing Journeyman rate, or a multiplication of the minimum wage scale. Of course, employers always have the right to pay more for those that have earned the increase.
Some provinces have mandated the ratio, and in the case of ESA and Manitoba, the requirement that people working in our trade, be licensed.
Currently, Manitoba is on the way to make tin bashing a mandatory Red Seal.
While there are handyman/helper types out there still doing work, eventually, (I hope) all work will be done by qualified trademen/women.
As a side benefit, mandatory Red Seal trades, earn more than the non mandatory. Carpenters, mechanics would do well to push for legislation similar to electricians and plumbers
 

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Only people you have to worry about is the OCOT (Ontario College of Trades) and if you're just a helper you are outside of their mandate.

It's generally a couple of ladies in your area that wear blue windbreakers and hardats, if you say that you just carry stuff, pass tools, put in bulbs and coverplates they just tell your boss to get you registered in an apprenticeship (so they can get their fee, it think it's $60-70 for an apprentice. )

Never heard of a shop that registers an apprentice right away. So I would not be worried.

Listen to what he tells you, what how he does things and don't be afraid to ask when you don't understand how to do something. :)

Good Luck

P.S. Remember: Everything is live until YOU have verified otherwise.
 
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