News and Events

MHC and Portage College create opportunities in the trades

April 24, 2023

An exciting new program that will equip prospective apprentices with skills to obtain employment is now available, thanks to a partnership between Medicine Hat College (MHC) and Portage College.

Pre-apprenticeship welding is a one-year program which provides learners everything they need to enroll as a welding apprentice, including online academic upgrading, taught by instructors at Portage College, hands-on skills training at Medicine Hat College and a job placement once studies are completed. Upon completion, students will also have the knowledge and skills necessary to challenge their first-year Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) exam.

Earlier this year, MHC partnered with Portage College to jointly offer the steamfitter/pipefitter apprenticeship training, for rural Albertans in the Portage region, with online lectures from MHC instructors and in-person labs in each of the respective communities.

"Working with Portage College enables MHC to deliver an exceptional pre-apprenticeship welding program with a proven track record,” says Chad Flinn, dean of trades and technology at MHC. “This collaboration is a testament to our ongoing partnership and shared successes we’ve had with Portage, as we continue to combine our strengths to offer unparalleled educational experiences for rural Albertans."

Thanks to the support from the Ministry of Skilled Trades and Professionals, post-secondary institutions like Portage College and MHC are able to explore unique ways for students to start their trades training.

“The pre-apprenticeship welding program builds new access opportunities for Albertans to enter into the high-demand welding trade, with both academic and career skills training as well as student placements as these new welders prepare to enter the field. We are pleased to partner with Medicine Hat College to support trades training across Alberta,” says Donald Moore, dean of trades and technology at Portage College.

The program begins in fall 2023 and is now accepting students. To learn more about the pre-apprenticeship welding program and to register, visit