By Anthony Capkun
April 29, 2013 – An initiative to create a common, regional approach to apprenticeship announced today by Atlantic premiers promises “greater mobility and a stronger labour force that supports Atlantic Canada’s growing economy”. Through the Atlantic Workforce Partnership, Atlantic Canada aims to lead the nation in its approach to harmonize apprenticeship programs.
By aligning hours and training required to attain certification, apprentices have greater mobility to move forward in their careers, and Atlantic employers have access to the workforce they need. These improvements and other workforce initiatives should ensure students and apprentices have the support they need to be successful, and employers have access to the labour they need to grow their businesses.
As part of the Atlantic Workforce Partnership, the provinces will bring four trades affecting 20% of apprentices into alignment within the next 24 months. Premiers also identified a goal of harmonizing additional high-volume trades that meet key labour market demands, covering an additional 40% of apprentices in the following 24 months. Changes will be phased in starting in 2014.
Among the first four trades is are Construction Electrician and Instrumentation Technician. In addition to work being done to align these trades, other supports for apprenticeship will include expanding alternative training delivery and building a common information technology platform.
The Atlantic Provinces will introduce measures that will support the use of apprentices on major projects and government operations. Furthermore, Atlantic governments will amend hiring practices to increase the number of apprentices within their own workforces.