Newfoundland journeyperson mentorship program helping to meet skilled trades demand
By Anthony Capkun
November 15, 2012 – With an investment of $2 million, Newfoundland & Labrador invites companies and individuals to apply for the Journeyperson Mentorship Program: an industry-supported initiative that aims to increase the retention rates, skills and technical knowledge of apprentices.
“From Muskrat Falls hydroelectricity to Hebron oil, from Western Labrador iron ore to residential construction, Newfoundland & Labrador will need thousands of skilled workers in the coming years,” said Premier Kathy Dunderdale.
With dedicated on-the-job training, the program will provide a journeyperson mentor to eligible employers to support them in the hiring of additional apprentices as they develop toward journeyperson status. Preference will be given to:
• Under-represented groups who have traditionally faced barriers to employment, such as women, Aboriginal persons and persons with disabilities.
• Regional distribution, with an emphasis on rural Newfoundland & Labrador.
• High-demand trades
“This program offers a great incentive for employers and businesses to support employment opportunities and grow our provincial economy,” said Ivan Gedge, business representative/organizer, Atlantic Canada Regional Council of Carpenters, Millwrights and Allied Workers. “I encourage businesses to learn more about the Journeyperson Mentorship Program and how it will build a qualified workforce by strengthening the apprenticeship system and helping more people reach journeyperson status.”
Private employers, either in the profit and non-profit sectors (particularly small- and medium-sized employers providing trades-related work), are eligible to apply for the program. A journeyperson mentor will be a senior tradesperson capable of providing guidance in a non-traditional training role.
“Through the Journeyperson Mentorship Program, the provincial government is making a long-term investment in the future supply of skilled workers,” said Rhonda Neary, president and COO of the Newfoundland & Labrador Construction Association. “The association is very pleased with the direction we are seeing in the areas of apprenticeship and skills development.”
Visit http://www.aes.gov.nl.ca/app for program guidelines and applications.