Helmets to Hardhats Canada

Frequently Asked Questions

Helmets to Hardhats Canada (H2H)® is a national, Not-for-Profit program designed to assist currently serving as well as retired members of both the Regular Force and Reserve Force components of the Canadian Forces, including those with disabilities, with the transition process into a new and rewarding civilian career in the building and construction industry across Canada.

The program recognizes the fact that only a few of the current military occupations in the Canadian Forces will enable a direct and immediate placement as a qualified Journeyperson, and as such includes the opportunity for full apprenticeship training in any of the 60+ trade occupations in the building and construction industry provided they meet the basic entrance requirements for that particular trade.

Given that the economic situation varies across Canada from Province to Territory, interested candidates will be encouraged to give consideration to the trade for which they would be interested, where they would like to live, and where there exist opportunities to get underway. Of particular note is the fact that of the numerous trade occupations in the construction industry, over 50 of them have a "Red Seal" designation that allows them to work anywhere in Canada once they have achieved their Journeyperson qualification.

Making a successful transition from the military into the civilian workforce can be difficult. Transitioning military veterans face the same challenges as any other job hunter - getting their résumé to the right people, learning how to sell themselves, tracking down promising leads, following-up with employers, headhunters, job placement agencies...etc. Not many people are comfortable with this process and veterans have the added stress of trying to translate the skills they learned in the military into language that civilian employers can understand. The process can feel overwhelming, especially if it seems like meaningful help is unavailable. Helmets to Hardhats (H2H)® was formed for this reason and is dedicated to helping retired and currently serving members of the Regular and Reserve Force components of the Canadian Forces who are seeking a new civilian career. The primary focus of the program is to connect these individuals with quality career and training opportunities in one of Canada's most challenging and rewarding industries - the building and construction industry.

H2H was incorporated on 25 November 2011 as a Federal Not-for-Profit Corporation under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, with its head office located in Ottawa, Ontario. The program is funded through the generous support of organizations that are interested in furthering the objectives of the H2H program. The Executive Director and other employees of H2H are governed by a Board of Directors that consists of individuals that are selected to represent the Employers' Organizations and Owners, Labour Organizations, the Federal Government, as well as ex-officio representatives of Provincial and Territorial Governments.

Other than for an individual who was given a dishonorable release from the Canadian Forces, anyone who has served (or is still serving) in the Regular Force or Reserve Force components of the Canadian Forces is eligible to apply for the H2H program. Furthermore, the H2H program is not limited to any specific Military Occupation (MOC), service environment or rank. While an individual's military qualifications and experience may serve to reduce or completely by-pass the apprenticeship training requirements, it is entirely the choice of the individual as to which trade they would like to pursue as part of their new career opportunity. If required, arrangements can be made to undertake a full apprenticeship training program to assist them in achieving Journeyperson certification in their selected trade occupation offered under the H2H program.

Most experienced job seekers understand that utilizing personal networks (networking) is a much more effective way of securing a quality career than simply looking online or going through newspaper ads. Although H2H is a web-based program that requires online registration and provides career postings, what sets it apart from other initiatives is that H2H employees are all former members of the Canadian Forces who fully understand the transition challenges, and are dedicated to assisting with a smooth and successful transition on a non-commission basis. At the end of the day, having an informed advocate on your side who knows where you need to go, who you need to talk to and can help facilitate the hiring process makes all the difference in the world to serious job seekers interested in securing a rewarding career in construction. To participate in H2H, simply visit the program's Website at www.helmetstohardhats.ca and click the "Apply Now" button to create and activate your own personal account. Once we have confirmed your service in the Regular or Reserve Force Components of the Canadian Forces and your account is activated, you can browse (and apply for) the career and training opportunities currently listed all across Canada. If you apply for an opportunity your profile will be forwarded

Recognizing that training and employment opportunities will vary from region to region across Canada you have the ability to select your preferences for a trade, as well as your preferred employment locations to begin your new career. As such, this will provide a broader basis from which you can establish the best path for you and your family, depending on your own timelines, current location, eligibility for move assistance from the Canadian Forces, and a realistic appraisal of the opportunities available during your timeframe of interest.

If you have questions about a career in any of the 60+ building and construction trade occupations, don't see the career you're interested in or have questions about the application process, call us at (613) 238-2300 or our toll free number 1-(855) 238-9707.

Although the H2H program provides opportunities for full or partial apprenticeship training to achieve Journeyperson status within one of the trades offered under the program, the overarching objective is to provide quality career opportunities in the Building and Construction trades industry in Canada. For those individuals who may already have the necessary qualifications and certification, H2H will be able to assist them in employment opportunities.

Yes, H2H will offer a variety of careers listed on its Website. Many employers list several types of construction-related career opportunities for H2H program users, including administrative, engineering and management positions. However, the majority of the opportunities lie within the Building and Construction trades.

An apprenticeship is a mixture of classroom instruction and on-the-job training under the supervision of a qualified individual, with the majority of the training being conducted on the job site. Given that education is under Provincial/Territorial authority, the training and certification process will vary across Canada. For an individual with no previous experience or qualifications, the apprenticeship could be from three to five years in duration. However, in many cases you will be given credit for your previous military and applicable civilian training/experience, thereby reducing the apprenticeship period accordingly. Such a determination will be made on a case-by-case basis between you and the Business Manager/Training Coordinator at the local union. In some cases the classroom training will be conducted through community colleges, whereas in other cases it will be conducted through union training centers, depending on the trade selected and the Province/Territory you chose to undertake your apprenticeship training. You will get paid apprentice-level wages for your work while you are on the job, which rise as your level of experience and training increases.

Going from a military helmet to a construction hardhat can be a great opportunity for a new civilian career. The building and construction industry offers an annual salary higher than the overall national average and more than 60 unique apprenticeship programs. Also, as a veteran of the Canadian Forces, if you start out in the construction industry as an apprentice, you can earn while you learn while on the job site, or be eligible for Employment Insurance while in the classroom, with the exception of the initial classroom period.

Employers that are members of the H2H-approved contracting associations will register and have access to advertise opportunities online. Employers that are not members must meet certain criteria before they can advertise opportunities on the H2H Website. These criteria include access to a quality and registered apprentice program, a permanent system to ensure employment and training opportunities, formal curriculum and instructor training programs, related training and an on-the-job training program, and a positive record of caring for the welfare of workers as evidenced by health and dental insurance, pension benefits and workers' compensation coverage. Employers who want to advertise construction-related employment opportunities must ensure that they provide wages and benefits in keeping with the high standards of the other member employers. If, at any time, H2H is notified that an employer is not advertising acceptable opportunities, the employer will be removed from the H2H system. Third party vendors cannot use the H2H website to advertise opportunities.

Interested companies are encouraged to register at https://app.helmetstohardhats.ca/en/register

Employers who qualify for the H2H program gain access to a pool of construction industry career seekers who are hardworking, safety-conscious, highly dependable and who possess both leadership qualities as well as a strong sense of teamwork. Also, the H2H Website will provide many great tools for employers to help them locate career seekers who have special skills. H2H candidates possess specialized training, hands-on experience and professional discipline that you simply cannot find in the regular workforce. All H2H career seekers are required to fill out detailed information before accessing the site, making it easy to eliminate inappropriate candidates based on career specifications and to locate candidates with desired skills. The Website also offers the means to easily communicate with qualified applicants.

A wide variety of career opportunities are listed on our Website; therefore, we cannot say how much you will be paid. The trade(s) you select, the location and your experience determines your pay. As an apprentice, you typically earn about half of what you'll make as a qualified Journeyperson.

The pace of the hiring process is determined by the local economic situation, as well as the timing of upcoming apprenticeship courses. We do suggest that you follow-up with the local Business Manager after applying for an opportunity to ensure receipt and to get further instructions on how the application process will unfold, including any requirements for entrance exams and pre-apprenticeship training.

The program is open to all service members regardless of rank, MOC and environment, but because most of the positions on our Website are apprenticeship opportunities, more non-commissioned personnel have been attracted to the H2H program. Nevertheless, a quick review of the H2H career listings will show that we also provide many construction-related professional careers that are well-suited for transitioning officers.

H2H is not a placement company. We refer candidates to local Business Managers/Training Coordinators, and refer local Business Managers/Training coordinators to promising candidates. To apply for a career posting or entry into an apprenticeship program, H2H program users must complete a comprehensive profile that helps hiring managers and training directors determine what transferable skills they acquired during their military service. Prior to acceptance into the trades, candidates often are required to take an aptitude test to assess their skill level.

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Phone (613) 238-2300
Toll-free: (855) 238-9707

72 Chamberlain Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1S 1V9

Hours of Operation
1000 - 1700h EST