Changes to the apprenticeship system will make it easier for young people to access and complete training to get jobs here in Nova Scotia.
Minister of Labour and Advanced Education Kelly Regan announced changes, today, Jan.
21, to regulations that will allow more apprentices to train under one journeyperson in the metal fabricator trade.
Currently, only one apprentice is permitted to train under a certified journeyperson. The new regulations will allow three apprentices to train under one journeyperson, increasing training opportunities and access to jobs.
“Government is committed to modernizing the apprenticeship system so we can keep our skilled workers in Nova Scotia,” said Ms. Regan. “We listened to industry’s recommendations, and I am looking forward to seeing more apprentices have access to the valuable training needed for the good jobs available in this industry.”
The changes will require the third apprentice to be more senior and in the final year of training.
In addition, the changes will:
— reduce the amount of time it takes an apprentice to become certified from 8,000 hours to 6,000 hours
— increase safety training
— provide clarity in areas like wages and how to best advance between training levels
— allow for other trades to take similar steps
“These changes are going to make it easier for me, and the apprentices after me, to get the training we need to start our careers in metal fabrication,” said Ben Gillis, an apprentice with Cherubini Metal Works. “One of the biggest challenges as an apprentice is getting that one spot with a journeyperson to get the training hours needed. Having more spots open up, and decreasing the hours needed for training, will make it a lot easier for apprentices to complete the program and become certified.”
Metal fabricators make and repair parts used in the construction of buildings, bridges, tanks, towers, boilers, pressure vessels and other structures and products. They lay out, cut and fabricate structural steel, plate and different metals used in a variety of manufacturing and construction industries. For example, metal fabricators would have worked on the MacKay bridge repairs last summer.
Steve England, vice-president of operations, Cherubini Group, said there are many opportunities in metal fabrication.
“I am pleased to see government has listened to industry’s recommendations around increasing ratios and changing the training schedule,” said Mr. England.”I have several apprentices working in my shop, and these new rules will make it easier for them, and future apprentices, to gain the training they need to have a successful career in metal fabrication.”
These changes are another step toward making sure the apprenticeship system is working for apprentices and employers. As part of this work, the province is creating an industry-led agency that will give employers a bigger role in Nova Scotia’s apprenticeship system.
The province released a discussion paper on Jan. 20 asking Nova Scotians to provide input on how the new agency should operate.
Recent changes to modernize apprenticeship also include the delivery of the new, streamlined Atlantic Canadian approach. Announced on Jan. 15, this will allow Nova Scotia apprentices to work and train more easily by making training, certifications and standards consistent across the four Atlantic Provinces.