A federal-provincial initiative was announced today to harmonize apprenticeship systems across the Atlantic provinces.
Premier Kathy Dunderdale. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram
A news release states 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.
The hope, according to Jason Kenney, federal Minister of Employment and Social Development, and the Council of Atlantic Premiers, is that it will mean more jobs and opportunities for workers in the skilled trades and a step forward in addressing skills shortage faced in certain regions and sectors in Canada.
“Atlantic Canada is leading the nation in ongoing efforts to harmonize apprenticeship programs,” said Kathy Dunderdale, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“By supporting a regional approach to apprenticeship that fosters a highly trained and mobile workforce, the Atlantic Apprenticeship Harmonization project will ensure Newfoundland and Labrador continues to meet the growing demand for skilled labour – a demand driven by major developments such as Muskrat Falls, continuing business growth and a strong economy.”
Canada has 13 different apprenticeship systems across the country with different requirements for training, certification and standards.
The inconsistencies mean that apprentices who wish to move to another province to continue or complete their training are often unable to do so because the systems can be so different.
At the same time, employers wishing to recruit new apprentices from out of province face similar challenges.
“Having harmonized apprenticeship systems will help more Canadians gain the skills and experience they need to find available jobs,” Kenney said.
“This project will create jobs and opportunities for workers across Atlantic Canada and help employers get the skilled workers they need. Today is an important step forward in removing the barriers to job creation caused by different apprenticeship systems across the country.”