Helmets to Hardhats Canada® (H2H) has been incorporated in Canada as a Not for Profit Organization. It is similar to its sister H2H program in the United States, but is designed to provide an opportunity in Canada for anyone who has served (or is currently serving and looking to transition to a civilian career) in either the Regular or Reserve Force Components of the Canadian Forces. The program offers the required apprenticeship training to achieve journey person status in any of the applicable trades within the building and construction industry. Depending on existing qualifications and experience, the apprenticeship training process may be shortened or by-passed so as to enable a fast-tracked achievement of journeyperson status.
Regardless of an individual's military occupation, they may chose to pursue any of the 14 applicable trade fields with full apprenticeship training being provided as required. A full apprenticeship program can be 3-4 years long, during which time much of the apprenticeship will be on job training (OJT), with anywhere from 8-20 weeks of classroom instruction provided during this 3-4 year period. Apprentices will be paid during their OJT, but at a reduced rate from what they will earn as a qualified journeyperson. Apprenticeship training is offered across Canada, so it will be up to the individual to decide where in Canada they would like to undertake this training. For a number of trades, the journeyperson is given "Red Seal" certification which permits them to work in any Province or Territory across Canada.
The building and construction industry in Canada is an economic growth leader. With changing demographics in Canada, influenced in part by an aging work force and relatively low birth rate, there is an increasing demand for skilled labour across the nation. This demand is not limited to just the trades themselves, but also the leadership positions (foreman, general foreman, site manager, etc) and specialty fields (project management, engineering, logistics, etc) that are integral to the building and construction industry. The Building Trades Unions and many Employers across Canada who are stakeholders in supporting the H2H program in Canada recognize the valuable contribution that members of Canadian Forces (past and present) have made to our country, as well as the outstanding qualities and experience that they offer, such as inter-personal skills, leadership abilities, professionalism, dedication, and a desire to pursue continuous individual improvement. Furthermore, the Unions and stakeholder employers are motivated to accommodate members of the Canadian Forces (past and present) who may have physical and/or mental challenges, recognizing that these same individuals offer many other great qualities and abilities.
H2H works closely with the Canadian Forces to assist interested individuals in making the transition into this exciting new career opportunity. As such, H2H will work closely with the Personnel Selection (BPSO) network to provide information on the program, including through the Secondary Career Assistance Network (SCAN) seminars.
A non-profit program that provides rewarding career opportunities to Canadian military veterans and serving reservists in recognition of their outstanding service to their country as well as their potential for significant contributions in the civilian workforce.
To provide Canadian military veterans and serving reservists with opportunities for apprenticeship training and/or rewarding careers, with excellent wages and benefits, in Canada's unionized building, construction and maintenance industries. To provide these same industry stakeholders with talented and highly committed military veterans and serving reservists who possess the skills, qualities, knowledge and experience to make an outstanding, long-term workforce contribution.
The principles embraced by the Helmets to Hardhats® program are the same that make it an attractive opportunity for both Canadian military veterans as well as the unions, contractors, owners and associations within Canada's building, construction and maintenance industries who support the program's vision and mission. These principles are:
- Service to Canada - The voluntary service of our Canadian Forces members to the defence and security of Canada's vital interests
- Veterans - Based on their military service to Canada, these individuals possess unique combinations of skills, qualities, knowledge and experience that offer tremendous potential in the civilian workforce
- Rewarding Careers - Unlike a job, a rewarding career offers excellent wages and benefits, as well as the opportunity for growth and self-fulfillment through training and advancement
- Focus on Abilities - Regardless of gender, ethnicity, age or disabilities (psychological and/or physical), all Canadian military veterans and serving reservists offer many remarkable abilities
- Priority Consideration - Our Canadian military veterans and serving reservists face many challenges in transitioning into a civilian career, and require priority consideration to ensure a successful transition
- Fraternity – We welcome our vets and their families into our community of Brothers and Sisters, where they will be given the respect and fair treatment they deserve while protecting them from work force exploitation
- Teamwork - Successful completion of a project is similar to the achievement of the mission objectives of a military operation: both require team players that can lead, follow and contribute to the collective effort
- Canada First - Hiring our Canadian military veterans and serving reservists contributes to the well-being of Canada, and is simply the right thing to do.