By Anthony Capkun
May 15, 2013 – A new trade certification program aims to help enterprising tradespeople in Atlantic Canada obtain the tools they need to succeed in business.
The Atlantic Trades Business Seal Program was announced today by New Brunswick’s post-secondary education, training and labour minister Danny Soucy, and by national revenue minister Gail Shea (who is also minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency [ACOA]).
The pan-Atlantic initiative will provide tradespeople with the opportunity to supplement their trade certification with business credentials to help them start and expand their businesses, or move into managerial roles within an existing company.
“This program provides the link between the skills required for the respective trade and the skills it takes to run a business,” said Soucy. “Those are two very different things. We are pleased to partner with the federal government on this initiative, which complements the premier’s recent commitment for greater collaboration among the Atlantic provinces and the move towards harmonizing apprenticeship programs in our region.”
As a recognized standard throughout Atlantic Canada, the Atlantic Trades Business Seal will complement the Red Seal endorsement, which is accepted across Canada as an industry standard of excellence for the skilled trades.
“Our government is committed to supporting certification and training initiatives that promote skills development and create job opportunities for Atlantic Canadians,” said Shea. “Our support for the Atlantic Trades Business Seal Program will help tradespeople achieve their business goals, as well as to take advantage of the historic opportunities that will flow from projects like the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.”
The program is being offered in five colleges including: Nova Scotia Community College; New Brunswick Community College and Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick; College of the North Atlantic in Newfoundland and Labrador; and Holland College on Prince Edward Island. To achieve the business seal, program participants are required to complete five stand-alone modules (150 hours of study) in the following areas: operations management; business planning; marketing and sales; financial management; and human resource management.
The program encourages formal learning and training beyond the trade certificate; presents new career opportunities by promoting the successful start-up and growth of trades-related businesses; provides a common recognized standard through which existing businesses can identify individuals with the skills to manage or take over a business, thus facilitating succession planning; contributes to greater worker mobility across the Atlantic region; and provides the next generation of apprentices with more opportunities to gain experience faster which, in turn, is expected to help the industry’s efforts to attract more young people to the skilled trades as a career option.
The federal government, through ACOA, is investing $100,236 in the program under the Business Development Program. The provincial government is investing $15,206.
The initiative is led by the Atlantic Apprenticeship Council which encourages the standardization of apprenticeship training and certification programs and provides greater mobility across Atlantic Canada for skilled workers. The council is made up of apprenticeship directors and apprenticeship board chairs of the four Atlantic provinces and works with the Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training.