There are several training paths offered to individuals interested in entering into an apprenticeship agreement. Although each of these pathways are somewhat different, they all require specific training components that must be completed by all apprentices.
• a minimum number of hours of on-the-job training,
• verification of skills gained during on-the-job training, and
• theory courses related to the trade.
Pathways to Apprenticeship - chart
In order to meet these requirements, individuals can enter into apprenticeship through the following training options.
Youth Apprentices are between the ages of, have already explored a designated skilled trade and have been hired by an employer who is willing to train them as an apprentice. If you become a youth apprentice while still in high school, you typically work part-time in your trade after school, on the weekends and/or in the summer.
As a youth apprentice, you can "earn while you learn" and begin training towards a career in the trades by counting your hours of work experience towards your apprenticeship... all before you even graduate! Youth apprentices can also receive apprenticeship credit from co-op placements in a designated trade. For more information about youth apprenticeship and some of the benefits, contact the Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator.
After high school you can choose to enter directly into an apprenticeship, or first complete a diploma or certificate from the Nova Scotia Community College. It's important to note that registering as an apprentice is the only way to receive your certification as a journeyperson in a trade.
Some considerations when deciding whether or not to participate in a Pre-Apprenticeship program are:
• How much experience you have in a trade. Pre-apprenticeship programs are a great way to build on your foundational skills in a trade.
• Finding an employer to hire you as an apprentice. In some of the designated skilled trades, employers prefer to hire graduates of pre-apprenticeship programs. If you are interested in a particular trade, you should contact the relevant sector council for this information or talk directly to employers.
• If a relevant diploma or certificate is offered in your trade of interest. The School of Trades and Technology offers pre-apprenticeship programs in over 20 of the designated skilled trades. If you are interested in a particular trade, you should visit the NSCC website to view their current course calendar.
Once you graduate from NSCC and find an employer, you need to contact the Apprenticeship Training and Skill Development Division. At this point, you will begin your apprenticeship. You will be accredited with some on-the-job training hours and theory training for your Pre-Apprenticeship program.
Full-Time Apprenticeship (after High School)
If you want to train to become a journeyperson in Nova Scotia, you will need to become an apprentice. For most people other than youth apprentices, apprenticeships begin after completing grade 12 or equivalent. If you do not have your grade 12, contact the Apprenticeship Training and Skill Development Division to receive more information about how you can build for your success as an apprentice.
In order to become an apprentice, you will need to find an employer who will hire you, and is willing and able to train you in the trade. The employer will agree to train you on-the-job for approximately 85% of the time with a journeyperson mentor and release you to take theory training for the remaining 15% of your time. The main training provider for apprenticeship courses is the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC).
You will be paid throughout all of your apprenticeship training. There is a minimal fee that you will need to pay to register as an apprentice and for your theory courses. After you complete each set of theory courses and return to your employer, your pay as an apprentice increases. In most of the designated skilled trades, apprenticeships last for four years.
After you have completed all of the requirements in your trade, you are eligible to write the journeyperson certification exam. After passing this exam, you become a journeyperson in your trade.