10 Steps to Developing a Consortium
1. Visit to the local college and/or training institution(s) to discuss the training programs available, the schedule and availability of students for work placements. This will vary by the trade's requirements and curriculum.
2. Contact local employers and their union representatives to determine their interest in providing apprenticeship work placement experience. During a follow-up site visit, discuss the employer's responsibilities and possible membership in the consortium. Other important accomplishments during the first six months included the development of a HSTAC Procedural Guideline document, which is a compilation of meeting discussion points and policies. An Apprenticeship Model indicating the potential entry points into an apprenticeship program through to Certificate of Qualification and an Excel spreadsheet to capture important apprentice data to measure the success of HSTAC was also developed.
3. If these discussions indicate a sufficient interest to create a consortium, develop a governance document indicating the organization's overall goals, roles/responsibilities and consortium by-laws. Share this with the local stakeholders and ask for their input.
The Workforce Development Initiative funded by the HRSDC has also provided HSTAC with an opportunity to contact new local employers that have recently offered apprenticeship training. Many of these employers qualify for numerous provincial and federal tax benefits. They may not be aware that HSTAC as a consortium cannot claim them. To qualify, the employer must complete a MTCU apprenticeship sponsor transfer.
4. Visit the provincial apprenticeship office to discuss the consortium's "Sponsor Agreement" registration. A few representatives from industry and the college/training institution should be invited to show their support.
5. Each Council Member is required to complete a "Consortium Council Member Form". The information from the forms can also be used to create a Consortium Contact List. A copy of each member's Consortium Council Member Form must also be submitted to the provincial apprenticeship office during registration. Ongoing changes to the Council must be provided to the provincial apprenticeship office with a copy of any new "Consortium Council Member Forms".
6. Employers providing apprenticeship training must meet the requirements of the provincial government and verify they are able to meet the training standards. The employer cannot receive any tax credits unless they are registered and the apprentice is officially transferred from the consortium to the employer's sponsorship.
7. Schedule a meeting of all the Consortium Council Members (employer representatives, local union representative(s), college and/or training institution representative(s), provincial apprenticeship office to elect a Chair and Vice Chair. A secretary should also be appointed to provide administrative support as required.
8. The first order of business for the Consortium Chair and Secretary would be to file a MTCU Sponsor Agreement on behalf of the new consortium. This officially recognizes the consortium as a sponsor for a specific trade code(s). The Consortium Chair and the Secretary are recognized as the Sponsor's Signing Authority. At least one must be present during apprenticeship registrations
9. A facilitated discussion on the Vision, Mission and Values along with strategic plans and tactics should begin as soon as possible. All Council Members should be invited and encouraged to attend. Although this may require several brainstorming sessions, it is very important that all parties clearly understand the Consortium's goals and refer back to them when making difficult decisions
10. Keep the lines of communication open. Many Council Members joined the Consortium because they needed help with apprenticeship training. An issue is often a common problem that can be solved with the help of others.