Atlantic premiers continue to streamline apprenticeship programs

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McNeil signs memorandum to establish common standards

SAINT JOHN – Nova Scotia is taking another step to help apprentices complete their training and land good jobs in the province and across Atlantic Canada.

Premier Stephen McNeil signed a memorandum of understanding with the other Atlantic provinces Monday that will establish common training, certifications and standards to help apprentices complete training and work within the region more easily. This agreement is the first of its kind in the country.

There are 13 apprenticeship systems across Canada, each with different requirements. Inconsistencies such as different curriculum, log books or sequencing of courses can make it difficult for apprentices to complete training if they move, and for employers to recruit the people they need.

"Apprenticeship is a priority for Nova Scotia and we're focused on helping young people find jobs and training opportunities in the trades, close to home," said Premier McNeil. "This agreement is a clear indication that positive things can happen when jurisdictions work together. As we move forward in our discussions with the federal government, I hope we are able to achieve the same level of co-operation."

The project will focus on 10 trades. The first four will be bricklayer, cook, construction electrician, and instrumentation and control technician. By early next year, it is expected apprentices in those trades will benefit from improvements. By 2017, all 10 trades will be harmonized.

The province also recently doubled its investment in the apprenticeship START program so more apprentices can access good jobs.

An industry-led apprenticeship agency that will give employers a bigger role in Nova Scotia's apprenticeship system, including delivery of the new streamlined, Atlantic Canadian approach, is also being created. This project will complement work to streamline training and certification requirements in targeted Red Seal trades across Canada.

The project is a $7.3-million federal and provincial investment in apprenticeship across Atlantic Canada.

Geographic location: Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia, SAINT JOHN

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