OTTAWA—Medical device manufacturer Abbott is sending its manufacturing employees back to school, thanks to a new apprenticeship program.
Abbott’s Point of Care plant in Ottawa, home to the cartridges used in the firm’s i-STAT System—an advanced, handheld diagnostic tool that provides real-time, lab-quality results—is launching a new instrumentation and control technician program this month in partnership with Algonquin College.
“Abbott’s apprenticeship program is designed to better equip employees to do their advanced manufacturing jobs safely and effectively, while fostering innovation, opportunities for advancement and a culture of learning,” Abbott Point of Care plant director Sean Tomalty said in a statement.
“With a changing economy and our rapidly evolving sector, we continue to look for unique ways to create a development-focused working environment.”
The program complements an existing microelectronics manufacturer apprenticeship curriculum that is also offered to Abbott’s Point of Care employees.
Both programs allow course work to be completed onsite during working hours and include comprehensive training and mentoring to help employees at every phase in their careers.
Supported by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, the new apprenticeship program trains employees to become instrumentation and control technicians and is available to a select number of eligible employees.
It features a customized curriculum, including 15 courses over three years.
Since its inception in 2007, Abbott’s microelectronics manufacturer apprenticeship program has allowed nearly 400 staff members to upgrade their education and experience levels.
With a total of 304 hours of classes, apprentices learn to better operate and monitor high-technology automated equipment while receiving the necessary skills to improve processes and automation.
The instrumentation and control technician apprenticeship program has the added advantage of being “Red Seal” certified, which allows qualified tradespeople to practice their trade anywhere in Canada.
“The two apprenticeship programs, taught at Abbott Point of Care in partnership with Algonquin College, combines practical, on-the-job experience with comprehensive in-school education, directly at the work site,” Algonquin’s dean of the faculty of technology and trades Christopher Janzen said.
“This program increases the competitiveness of graduates, who develop the necessary skills to successfully evolve in their careers and grow to reach their full potential.”
Abbott employs approximately 1,500 Canadians with primary locations in Montreal and Victoriaville, Que., Ottawa, Mississauga, Brockville and Markham, Ont., and Edmonton.