new policy provides more training opportunities for apprentices

Government is launching a procurement pilot to encourage businesses to hire apprentices in Nova Scotia.

Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan joined members of construction and skilled trades industries to announce the program today, Jan. 6. The pilot was developed in partnership with the Construction Association of Nova Scotia. It requires contractors bidding on provincially funded construction projects in Nova Scotia to take part in the province’s apprenticeship program.

“This is about leading by example,” said Ms. Regan. “We’re committed to developing a strong, skilled workforce. Some private sector employers are hiring apprentices. We need to salute them and we need more to follow their lead. Employers are the key to providing apprentices with the training and skills they need to succeed here in the province.”

The pilot will focus on current school construction projects only and applies to contractors whose portion of the bid equals or exceeds $100,000. Exceptions will be made for smaller companies and those whose work doesn’t fall within a designated trade.

“This program recognizes employers that are actively hiring apprentices, and will hopefully inspire other employers to do the same,” said Rene Cox, vice president at Bird Construction. “Hiring and training apprentices is not only good for the province, it’s good for business.”

Contractors must show proof of participation in the apprentice system to perform work on these projects. They can apply for such proof by visiting the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency website at www.nsapprenticeship.ca.

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