The future starts now for students preparing for good jobs as part of the Irving shipbuilding project.
The province will make a $10 million investment in a state-of-the-art Skilled Trades Centre, and other upgrades, for Cole Harbour District High School.
Premier Darrell Dexter announced today, April 2, that the centre will offer the new Manufacturing Trades course that is linked to shipbuilding. The new centre will help meet the needs of the hundreds of students across Halifax Regional Municipality eager to take part in the skilled trades courses.
“The $25 billion shipbuilding contract is an economic game changer and we are making strategic investments today to ensure Nova Scotians are ready to take advantage of tomorrow’s opportunities,” said Premier Dexter.
“Students are telling us they want to live and work, here at home,” said Mr. Dexter. “This investment helps meet the needs of students and increases our supply of skilled labour, something we need to help grow our economy.”
The fully-equipped Skilled Trades Centre will offer courses that link classroom learning to jobs, such as shipbuilding, and help get students thinking early on about the available opportunities and how they can get involved.
“The opportunity for young Nova Scotians looking at a possible future in the shipbuilding industry has never been stronger than it is today,” said Mike Roberts, vice- president Corporate Development, Irving Shipbuilding. “We’ve had growing, enthusiastic interest from the youth of our province in what it means to be a shipbuilder. We’re very focused on building that interest as we look to grow our workforce by 1,500 workers over the next eight years.”
“The province played an instrumental role in our winning the contract to build the Royal Canadian Navy’s new combat fleet, and we will continue to work in partnership with it to develop the workforce required for Nova Scotia’s future.”
The shipbuilding contract is expected to generate millions of dollars in economic spinoffs for the region, and create more than 11,000 good jobs during peak production.
The province is also establishing a $5 million fund to support the establishment of skilled trades centres in other parts of the province.
Skilled trades in other sectors of the industry are also in high demand. An aging workforce is also adding to the demand for building trades as older workers retire.
“The Construction Association of Nova Scotia is very pleased to see this innovative investment in our youth,” said Duncan Williams, president of the Construction Association of Nova Scotia. “This is a critical step in preparing our workforce to seize the incredible opportunities ahead and increase our ability to compete on a global basis. We encourage parents, teachers, guidance counsellors and students alike to explore the industry and all it has to offer.”
As part of Kids and Learning First, the province’s plan for education, the number of schools offering skilled trades will double from nine to 18 over the next four years. The new manufacturing trades course will be offered at Cole Harbour District High School by September 2014.
“Our education plan is about supporting every student to be successful, including preparing them for good jobs right here in the province,” said Education Minister Ramona Jennex.
The investment at the school will also include a new gymnasium and a refurbished cafeteria.
For more information on Kids and Learning First, visit novascotia.ca/kidsandlearning .
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