A new training program for agricultural equipment technicians will provide in-demand opportunities for apprentices and help Nova Scotia farmers improve productivity.
Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell was joined by industry representatives, employers and apprentices in Port Williams, Kings Co., today, Aug. 17, to announce the program. It uses existing technical training for heavy duty equipment technicians, along with online courses.
“There’s hasn’t been an apprenticeship program available to agricultural equipment technicians in the province for some time,” said Mr. Colwell. “With support from the agricultural industry we’ve developed a new program that will help our young people gain the skills and experience needed to succeed in their communities, while also helping employers address a specific labour need.”
The program was developed at the request of the agricultural equipment industry, which identified the need for skilled technicians to maintain and repair the technically advanced equipment used on farms today.
“Working with the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency, we were able to develop a program that will assist us in meeting our growing need for service techs,” said Patrick VanOostrum, president of VanOostrum Farm Equipment.
“I’m looking forward to developing the skills needed to become a technician, “said Zach Quinn, an apprentice at VanOostrum Farm Equipment. “It’s a great industry to be a part of.”
The new program includes a combination of technical training, online courses and on-the-job training. Certified heavy duty equipment technicians and truck and transport mechanics can use their apprenticeship hours toward certification as an agricultural equipment technician or take additional training to earn a dual certification.
The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency was established in 2014. The agency works closely with industry to increase awareness of apprenticeship and to create more opportunities for apprentices through responsive and innovative apprenticeship training.
For more information on apprenticeship in Nova Scotia visit www.nsapprenticeship.ca .