STEPS TO WORKIT - A Comprehensive Model

Workit outlines the steps of how to develop a career -- and successful future -- in the designated trades. By following these steps, youth can start their career in the designated skilled trades while they are still in high school.

Step 1/ Skilled Trades Awareness

By accessing this website and the Designated Skilled Trades Guide, educators, parents and youth will increase their awareness of the career opportunities in the skilled trades. Many youth in schools do not have basic information about the trades or even what a journeyperson does. When asked if they knew what a journeyperson was, 64.7% of the 1257 students polled in grades 10, 11 and 12 did not know (Youth Decision Survey Report 2004)

Workit actively promotes careers in the 61 designated trades in Nova Scotia. This website encourages youth, educators and parents to ask certified journeypeople about their career. This is the best way to pass on accurate information about what it means to have a successful career in the designated skilled trades. The Department of Labour and Workforce Development also delivers workshops and presentations for students and educators on career opportunities in the designated skilled trades and the apprenticeship system.

Step 2/ Employers and Certified Journeypeople participate in Youth Exploration
In order to recruit more youth into careers in the skilled trades, they have to have an opportunity to "try out" a designated skilled trade. This could involve a workplace tour (showing a youth the work environment and tools of the trade), job shadowing (following a tradesperson through a typical work day) and test drives (arranging to see skilled tradespeople, instructors and students in action at the NSCC). These "try out" sessions are an excellent way for youth to see what skilled tradespeople do everyday. If you would like to extend exploration opportunities to young people in your community, contact the Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator, or the guidance counselor at a local high school.

Step 3/Experience a Designated Skilled Trade: Work Placements
Once youth have had an exploration opportunity and have identified that a particular designated skilled trade matches their interests and skills, they have two opportunities to gain credits toward a future apprenticeship and start to gain experience in the trade:

• Students in Grade 11 or 12,  who are 16 years of age or older, and enrolled in Co-operative Education can be matched with a local employer and start their hands-on experience in a particular career.  After completing 25 hours of in-class training, students enter into a voluntary placement of approximately 100 hours with an employer.  Students are monitored by a co-op teacher and the employer through a self-assessment and evaluations. Students who complete a placement in a designated trade are eligible to count their hours toward an actual apprenticeship if they decide to pursue that career path. If you are interested in providing a co-op placement in your business, contact your local high school and ask for the cooperative education coordinator or the Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator.

•Since its inception in 2006, a select number of high schools across Nova Scotia have been offering the Options and Opportunities (O2) program. O2 offers on-the-job training through work placements and in-school learning through six occupational streams. Students will follow regular core programming and also be able to specialize in : Business,  Trades and Technologies,  Health and Human Services,  Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sports,  Information Technology, or Hospitality and Tourism. Check with your local high school to see if they offer O2. If you are interested in providing an O2 placement in your business, contact a high school in your local area and ask for the O2 coordinator.

- If you are in contact with youth who are not in school, there are various community programs available that will fund a workplacement in the designated skilled trades. By enrolling in such a program, they will be able to count their practical hours toward a future apprenticeship. If you are interested in becoming involved with this type of programming, contact your local Career Resource Centre for more information.

Step 4/ Registering a Youth Apprentice....Pathways to Apprenticeship (PDF)
Youth between the ages of 16-19 who have identified that a particular designated skilled trade suits their skills and interests and have an employer willing to offer part-time work in a designated trade are eligible to become a youth apprentice. Youth apprentices are paid by the employer while they learn the practical aspects of a trade. They are registered with the Department of Labour and Workforce Development and count their hours toward an apprenticeship. If you have an employee, or a co-op student you'd like to hire who is interested in becoming a youth apprentice, have him/her complete and send in the Expression of Interest form. This is the first step toward registration.

Step 5/ Youth Decide on Post-Secondary Options....After Graduating High School
Youth have two training options open to them: (1) attend a community college to upgrade their skills and gain more confidence or (2) continue on as an apprentice. There are advantages to both options. If they decide to go to community college, they'll receive some credit for their apprenticeship when they complete their program. If they decide to continue on with their apprenticeship, they'll continue to "earn while they learn" and count hours toward their technical training. Further considerations would include if employers recruit directly from the Nova Scotia Community College.

Step 6/ Working Full-time as an Apprentice
Youth over the age of 19, who have an employer willing to offer full-time work in a designated trade can register as apprentices. Apprentices earn a salary from the employer while they learn the practical aspects of their trade and participate in theory training each year. As the employer, you will provide apprentices with mentors and supervision in their trade. If you have employees over the age of 19 you want to support in their training as apprentices, contact the Industrial Training and Certification Officer, with the Apprenticeship Training and Skill Develoment Division in your area.

Various incentives are also provided to registered apprentices throughout their training, including:

•  HRSDC's Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) for apprentices who complete their first and second year of training;

•  the Nova Scotia provincial government's Progression Award to apprenticeship who complete their third and fourth your of training;

• HRSDC's Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG) for apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeship training and obtain journeyperson certification in a designated Red Seal trade; and

• the Tradesperson's Tools Deduction - available to employed tradespersons with an annual deduction of up to $500 to help cover the cost of new tools necessary to their trade.

Step 7/ Life as a Certified Journeyperson
As an employer, you are no doubt aware of the impact technology has on the work you do and how the designated trades are constantly evolving.  Journeypeople  who want to stay current in their trades must continue to learn in order to remain competitive in their fields.

Certified journeypeople can:

• Build a viable career as a journeyperson based on continuous learning and training,

• Gain certification in additional designated skilled trades,

• Become self-employed and start their own business,

• Complement their trade-specific education with further post-secondary education,

• Mentor and supervise apprentices in their trade.

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