COVID-19 update: This program was originally planned to start on May 4, 2020, but was postponed. Participants are now being recruited through a series of information sessions.

Information sessions

  • Tuesday, May 19: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm: RSVP Here
  • Thursday, May 21: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm: RSVP Here
  • Monday, May 25: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm: RSVP Here
  • Wednesday, May 27: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm: RSVP Here
  • Friday, May 29: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm: RSVP Here

Skills for Change and Humber College provide The Horticultural Technician Pre-Apprenticeship Program, a tuition-free program funded by the Government of Canada that is designed as a transition step for women seeking an apprenticeship in the horticultural trades.

This program prepares women who have a keen interest in the skilled trades for employment in the landscape sector and provides both academic and practical training. It stresses practical skills through applied study at our on-site construction laboratory and greenhouse, as well as the Humber Arboretum. Typical jobs in this industry include landscape construction, grounds and golf course maintenance, parks operations and gardens care. The 35 week program provides both academic and practical training to assist with obtaining employment.

The program includes a paid work placement of 8 to 12 weeks. 

Facilities & Equipment

Humber College has some of the best facilities for the delivery of this type of education. The Humber Arboretum is a 250-acre botanical garden that surrounds the campus and includes ornamental gardens, woodland gardens, wildlife gardens, and ecologically diverse environments centred on the west branch of the Humber River. The Arboretum serves as a unique ‘living classroom’ for plant studies, construction, arboriculture and horticultural skills. Our new construction lab is housed in a weather-protected 8000 square foot facility that allows the construction of full-scale structures such as decks, gazebos, retaining walls, and water features.

Program Benefits

  • Academic Upgrading
  • Level 1 Apprenticeship training for the trade of Horticultural Technician in Ontario
  • Employment preparation training
  • Paid work placement in the landscape industry
  • All textbooks, safety training, small tool kit, and safety equipment are included – free of charge
  • Health and Safety training including WHMIS, worker safety and First Aid
  • Introduction to Arborist Trade
  • Individual counselling and support services

Your Career

According to Statistics Canada, the popularity of landscaping activities has resulted in the booming lawn and garden industry. Earn a living with your green thumb and construction skills in a wide range of growth industries such as landscape, horticulture, construction, maintenance, irrigation, lighting and lawn care. This program will help to address the skill shortages in the industry in the GTA and particularly help women to prepare for the opportunities in the sector with the upcoming projects.

Work Placement Component

Participants will complement their formal training program with a 8-12 week paid work placement in the industry. This will be accomplished through a combination of student input and support from a dedicated Job Developer who will work with you.

Admission Requirements

Eligibility and Program Requirements

  • Low-income women seeking a career path in the trades.
  • Write an assessment test facilitated by Humber College.
  • Attend an interview (by invite only, based on assessment results).
  • Applicants Identify as women
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Minimum high school diploma or equivalent
  • Live in Toronto or GTA
  • Eligible to work in Ontario

Academic Requirements

  • Minimum Requirement: Grade 12 equivalency demonstrated via High School transcripts. To learn about accommodations or exceptions to this requirement, please contact the Project Manager (contact details listed below)
  • Must be eligible to work in Canada and obtain an Ontario apprenticeship.

Register For The Program

Applications and Assessments will take place at the information session. Therefore, attending an info session is mandatory to enroll in this program.