Harmonization of apprenticeship systems in Atlantic Canada announced

Tribune-Post Staff
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An initiative to harmonize apprenticeship systems across the Atlantic Provinces was announced today. Premier David Alward announced that the Atlantic Provinces, through the Council of Atlantic Premiers, will invest $3.5 million in the project. In addition, federal Employment and Social Development Minister Jason Kenney announced that the federal government will provide more than $4.3 million. From left: Fredericton MP Keith Ashfield; Kenney; Alward; and Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Jody Carr.

FRDERICTON, N.B. – An initiative to harmonize apprenticeship systems across the Atlantic Provinces was announced yesterday.

Premier David Alward announced that the Atlantic Provinces, through the Council of Atlantic Premiers, will invest $3.5 million in the project. In addition, federal Employment and Social Development Minister Jason Kenney announced that the federal government will provide more than $4.3 million.

“It is time to keep our most important resource, our people, working at home,” said Alward. “Harmonizing apprenticeship projects across the Atlantic region will help build our communities and create job opportunities here at home. As we continue to work together to build a skilled workforce across our region, we want to ensure opportunities meet the needs of employers and apprentices.”

Within the next four years, the project will harmonize 10 trades across the four provinces beginning with bricklayers, cooks, instrumentation and control technicians and construction electricians.

“Having harmonized apprenticeship systems will help more Canadians gain the skills and experience they need to find available jobs,” said Kenney. “This project will create jobs and opportunities for workers across Atlantic Canada and help employers get the skilled workers they needs. Today is an important step forward in removing the barriers to job creation caused by different apprenticeship systems across the country.”

Over the course of the past year, Alward met with his Atlantic counterparts to discuss how together they can best respond to the region's labour market and job training needs.

“This on-going dialogue and co-ordination led to today's announcement,” said Alward. “I am pleased that our government, as a partner in the Atlantic Workforce Partnership, will harmonize apprenticeship programs across the Atlantic region.”

The Atlantic harmonization strategy will provide:

● improved mobility through improved employer recruitment across jurisdictions;

● faster training completion through reduced duplication and better synchronized training;

● improved understanding and access for foreign-trained trades people;

● improve speed of completion by recognizing work within different jurisdictions;

● reduced development costs of training and exams for governments and institutions;

● increased consistency of assessment standards and quality of achievement;

● improved access to training through log book and curriculum alignment;

● consistent advice and guidance to provincial authorities;

● Atlantic governments receive common advice on compulsory certification;

● enhanced access to information by all stakeholders;

● improved resource allocation, cost distribution, scheduling of training; and

● the ability to compare success, improved understanding of success rates and best practices.

The project will help harmonize training, certification and standards, leading to increased availability of training, higher apprenticeship completion rates and increased labour mobility for apprentices across Atlantic Canada. In turn, that means more jobs and opportunities for workers in the skilled trades and a step forward in addressing the skills shortage faced in certain regions and sectors in Canada.

“This project complements our efforts to support apprenticeship in New Brunswick,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Jody Carr. “Our Labour Force and Skills Development Strategy 2013-2016 already highlights work being done to attract teens into the trades through the New Brunswick Teen Apprenticeship Program as well as efforts to implement a women-in-trades program. And most recently, we announced four new apprenticeship incentive programs designed to engage employers and support apprentices.”

Organizations: Council of Atlantic Premiers, Atlantic Workforce Partnership

Geographic location: Atlantic Canada, Atlantic Provinces, New Brunswick

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