Collège Boréal’s Apprenticeship Program Helps Meet Industry Needs in Northeastern Ontario

Le Collège Boréal offre un programme d’apprentissage à Hearst

From February 24 until April 2, 2015, apprentices from Northeastern Ontario flocked to Hearst to take Collège Boréal’s Saw Filer/Fitter apprenticeship program in partnership with Tembec.

All apprenticeship programs offered by Collège Boréal are comprised of a theoretical component as well as a practical component, usually offered on a job site. In this instance, apprentices gained hands-on experience working alongside Tembec staff members.

Sharpening and adjusting saw blades are specialized skills and qualified workers in this field play an essential role in the forestry industry. According to the Far Northeast Training Board (FNETB), the forestry industry is on an upswing. As such, labour market projections for trades are indicating an increased demand for skilled workers from 2016 to 2021.

The Canadian Forestry Association and the Canadian Institute of Forestry recently designated Northeastern Ontario, including Hearst, Constance Lake and Mattice-Val Côté, as the Forest Capital of Canada for 2015-2017.


“Collège Boréal is committed to offering quality programs and services in French across Ontario. We are always proud to work with our community partners in order to meet the needs of each region.”

Pierre Riopel, President, Collège Boréal

“This partnership has allowed us to offer customized training based the needs of the local industry. These collaborations contribute to the development of a qualified work force that will assist in the economic development of Ontario and Canada, as a whole.”

Daniel Giroux, Vice-President, Entreprises Boréal

“This is an innovative and collaborative initiative which would not have been possible without the support of the Steelworkers Union and the training committee members. I would like to thank our staff members and Collège Boréal who worked collaboratively in order to provide this training opportunity in our region.”

Gilles Fontaine, Regional Director, Tembec – Hearst Operations

Quick facts

About Collège Boréal

Established in 1995, Collège Boréal is a French-language postsecondary training and learning institution dedicated to the development and growth of French communities throughout Ontario.

Collège Boréal offers a wide variety of services in 35 access centres in 25 communities across the province. Furthermore, Collège Boréal has developed and implemented over 40 articulation agreements with other postsecondary institutions.

According to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, Collège Boréal has the highest graduation and graduate satisfaction rates in the province. Moreover, 100% of surveyed employers would recommend hiring Collège Boréal graduates!

About Tembec 

Tembec is a manufacturer of forest products – lumber, paper pulp, paper, and specialty cellulose pulp – and a global leader in sustainable forest management practices. Tembec has operations in North America and France with some 3,400 employees. Tembec serves customers worldwide with manufacturing operations located mainly in Canada but also has a specialty cellulose operation in France and a chemicals operation in the United States. The company’s head office is in Montréal.

About the program

The Saw Filer/Fitter apprenticeship program – Level 1 comprises of 240 hours of theoretical and practical training. Tasks associated with this program include: sawing machinery maintenance, sharpening of knives, blades, and other metal objects, as well as the adjustment, maintenance, and repair of chain saws, hand saws, and circular saws. This program is available thanks to the support of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Associated Links

To find out more about Collège Boréal programs and services, please visit our website at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @collegeboreal.


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