Portage, Conestoga and Government of Canada to Deliver Tuition Free Welding Programming
March 12, 2021

Portage College is partnering with Kitchener, Ontario-based Conestoga College and the Government of Canada to deliver tuition-free programming aimed at developing tradespeople. The 32-week Welder Pre-Apprenticeship Program will give students technical training in welding and fabrication skills, as well as employment skills required to start a new career. The program will begin in May 2021 with 12 seats available and is to encourage key groups including, but not limited to, women and Indigenous students.

“Portage is looking forward to offering this accredited certificate program in Alberta,” said Guy Gervais, Vice President Academic at Portage College. “To be able to offer this excellent program while offering free tuition through federally funded initiatives is so exciting, and will benefit not only our students but also the communities we support.”

Once accepted, students will focus on academic upgrading and basic welding orientation. Learners who complete the pre-apprenticeship program will then take Period 1 equivalency training between August and October, followed by an eight-week work experience placement. Training will be provided through blended instruction, with theory classes online and labs completed at Portage College’s welding lab in Lac La Biche.

Funded by the Government of Canada, Union Training and Innovation Program, this tuition-free program also covers the cost of books, school supplies and required equipment.

Graduates of the program will receive a Portage pre-apprenticeship certificate, first year welding pre-employment in-school training and credibility with employers through work integrated learning. They will be qualified to work in jobs in manufacturing facilities, construction companies, steel companies, repair shops, custom welding and metal fab shops and oilfield maintenance.

Information sessions, testing and interviews have begun and Portage wishes the applicants great success in their educational journey.

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* The opinions and interpretations in this release are those of Portage College and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.

Media Inquiries:
Jaime Davies, Corporate Communications Manager 
780-623-5581 or email

We acknowledge that Portage College’s service region is on the traditional lands of First Nation Peoples, the owners of Treaty 6, 8 and 10, which are also homelands to the Métis people. We honour the history and culture of all people who first lived and gathered in these lands.
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