October 23, 2023
The government will accelerate growth in the skilled trades and modernize the entire apprenticeship and trades qualification system to meet the needs of a growing province.
The actions announced by Premier Tim Houston on October 19, will add up to 5,000 more new apprentices to the system in the next three years, increase the number of journeypersons and trades qualifiers by 1,000 a year and increase the retention rate of apprentices from 43 per cent to 60 per cent – one of the highest in the country – within five years. It builds on the innovative work that has already been happening with the More Opportunity for Skilled Trades (MOST) program and apprenticeship program, including previous changes to the apprenticeship ratios.
“This is a very big day for the future of the Nova Scotia workforce. Nova Scotia is a growing province, and we need even more skilled trades workers to build our homes, hospitals, roads and other infrastructure projects important to Nova Scotians,” said Premier Houston. “We are willing to make bold decisions and substantial changes to the status quo to become the skilled trades leader in Canada.”
The Province is changing the ratios to increase the number of apprentices training on job sites and launching a new targeted immigration stream, both of which will help more people enter Nova Scotia’s skilled trades workforce faster.
The standard ratio is being increased from one journeyperson per two apprentices to one journeyperson per three apprentices in most trades. The Province is also excluding final level apprentices from ratios in all trades.
The Critical Construction Worker Pilot, a new stream of Nova Scotia’s Provincial Nominee Program, includes 21 in-demand occupations in the construction sector, largely focused on the residential building trades. It will broaden the pool of skilled workers companies need and recognize valuable industry experience for these occupations. It does not require a high school diploma, which other streams do.
Electrician and Industrial Electrician are included in the pilot.
Go HERE for the full list of occupations as well as more information on the Critical Construction Worker Pilot.
The actions also include:
- launching targeted recruitment strategies to make it easier to enter the skilled trades
- building programs, incentives and personalized supports to enter the skilled trades
- putting individualized learning programs in place to support retention
- building capacity to mentor and train more apprentices
- implementing faster skilled trades training at both the pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship stages
- changing the way government connects and responds to industry
- becoming a skilled trades leader in Canada.