Joey MacDougall has helped train dozens of apprentices over the years. But when he took on Brent Veenhuis in 2011, he knew he’d hit the jackpot.
“Brent has been a standout among our group,” said Mr. MacDougall, shop supervisor with Atlantic CAT. “He has a solid career and very bright future ahead of him.”
Mr. Veenhuis, a newly certified heavy duty equipment technician from Wittenburg, Colchester Co., is this year’s Apprentice Award of Excellence winner. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency sponsors the award and Mr. MacDougall nominated him.
“He’s a great example of what our future workforce can be, and has a work ethic that is second to none. Brent jumps at every learning opportunity, often using his own time to improve his skills and knowledge in the trade, and is always willing to lend a hand to others,” said Mr. MacDougall.
“As employers, it’s important for us to ensure that the skills and knowledge we’ve acquired over the years are not lost and get passed along to the next generation. It’s been truly rewarding to watch him grow.”
Mr. Veenhuis is among more than 450 joining the ranks of Nova Scotia journeypersons. These newly certified apprentices were celebrated at an event this evening, Nov. 15, in Halifax.
Greg Hodge, from Dartmouth, was honoured as mentor and coach of the year. He has demonstrated a strong commitment to the progress of apprentices he has trained, making sure they get the best experience and learn how to do it right.
Kelly Regan, Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency, commended Nova Scotia’s newest journeypersons and those who have supported them.
“These are some of the best-trained tradespeople in the country and they have a lot to be proud of,” said Ms. Regan. “The credential they’ve earned is recognized around the world and will open the door to many great opportunities here at home.”
The apprenticeship celebration is a bi-annual event sponsored by industry, the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Board, Nova Scotia Community College and government.
More information about apprenticeship is available at www.nsapprenticeship.ca.