STEPS TO WORKIT - A Comprehensive Model
Step 1/ Develop Skilled Trades Awareness
This website and the Designated Skilled Trades Guide will help you speak to your child about the range of the designated trades. There are 61 skilled trades in the construction, industrial/mechanical, service and motive fields. With the increase in technology, there are probably many trades that you did not know existed. Talk to any certified journeypeople you know about their career. They will have useful knowledge to pass on to your son or daughter about the reality and viability of a career in the designated skilled trades.
Step 2/ Explore a Designated Trade
Encourage your son or daughter to "try out" a designated skilled trade. It could involve a workplace tour (meeting people in an industry), 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 Nova Scotia Community College). These "try out" sessions are an excellent way to see what skilled tradespeople do everyday. Your child's guidance counselor, teacher, or your local NSCC would be able to suggest some ways to set up some exploration sessions. The Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator can also provide information on the Department of Labour and Workforce Development's youth apprenticeship initiative.
Step 3/ Experience a Designated Skilled Trade
After exploring a couple of designated skilled trades, your children might be interested in a more intense experience to determine if a particular trade suits his/her interests and skills. The following two options are available to youth 16 and older. Upon successful completion of either option, youth can obtain credit toward their future apprenticeship:
• 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 towards an actual apprenticeship if they decide to pursue that career path.
•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 child's local high school to see if they offer O2; selection begins in grade 9.
• If your child is not in school, there are various community programs available that can match him/her to an employer in the designated skilled trades. Contact your local Career Resource Centre for more information.
Step 4/ Become a Youth Apprenticeship
.....Pathways to Apprenticeship English (PDF); French (PDF)
If your child is between 16-19 years of age, has identified that a particular designated skilled trade suits his/her skills and interests and has an employer willing to offer work in a designated trade, he/she is 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 Apprenticeship Training and Skill Development Division at the Department of Labour and Workforce Development and are eligible to count their hours toward an apprenticeship. If your child is ready to become a youth apprentice, have him/her complete and send in the Expression of Interest form. This is the first step toward registration.
Step 5/Decide on Post-Secondary Options... After Graduating High School
Your child has two training options to choose from after high school: (1) attend a community college to upgrade his/her skills and gain more confidence, or (2) continue on as an apprentice. There are advantages to both options. Youth who decide to go to community college will receive some credit for their apprenticeship when they complete their program. If they decide to continue on with their apprenticeship instead, they'll continue to "earn while you learn" and count hours toward their technical training. Which training option is right for your child?
Step 6/ Working Full-time as an Apprentice
If your son or daughter is over the age of 19 and has an employer willing to offer full-time work in a designated trade, he/she can register as an apprentice. Apprentices earn a salary while they learn the practical aspects of their trade and participate in theory training each year. To begin the registration process contact an Industrial Training and Certification Officer with Apprenticeship Training and Skill Development in your local 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/ Enjoy Life as a Certified Journeyperson
Congratulations! At this step your child has successfully completed an apprenticeship and passed the certification exam.
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.