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What is apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is a post-secondary career option for both young and mature individuals who want to be certified to work in a skilled trade. It's a combination of on-the-job and technical training where skilled trades professionals (certified journeypersons) pass on knowledge and skills to learners (apprentices).

Apprenticeship begins with an agreement between an apprentice and an employer. The apprentice agrees to work for the employer in exchange for supervised, on-the-job training and experience (hours and practical skills) and the opportunity to participate in the necessary technical training offered in-class and/or online through NSCC and administered by the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency.

After completing apprenticeship training, apprentices write the certification exam to become journeypersons.

What are the benefits of apprenticeship and becoming a certified journeyperson?

  • Earn money while you learn: As an apprentice, you earn a wage from your employer and your salary will increase as you successfully complete each level of your training.  Advanced Education further announced they’ll be covering the cost of tuition for apprentices returning to the classroom for technical training. As an apprentice, you may also be eligible for taxable financial awards and tax credits.
  • Mentorship and hands-on-training: As an apprentice, you have an opportunity to learn high-level skills through personal, on-the-job training from a highly qualified journeyperson.
  • Job opportunities: Skilled workers are in demand in Nova Scotia and across the country. A good work ethic, a can-do attitude and a Certificate of Qualification can provide a person with the tools to work in the trade while earning a good wage. Certified journeyperson can take advanced training to continue developing their talent to assist them to advance to other opportunities such as management, teaching, or starting their own businesses.

How do I become an apprentice?

There are two pathways to becoming an apprentice:

Pre-apprentice program

Enrolment in an NSCC pre-apprenticeship program allows you to learn entry-level skills and trade theory in preparation for employment in the trade. After you complete the program and find an employer in the trade, you enter into an apprenticeship agreement with the employer through the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency.

Through a partnership between NSCC and the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency, graduates of pre-apprenticeship programs at NSCC obtain advanced standing for theoretical and practical training in articulated programs once you are working in the trade with an employer and are registered as an apprentice.

Direct entry

Direct-entry apprenticeship occurs when you find or are working with an employer in one of Nova Scotia’s designated trades and your employer registers you as an apprentice with the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency. Apprentices learn from, and are supervised by, certified journeypersons in the trade while you work on the job and earn a wage as you progress towards certification.

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency offers apprenticeship technical training in many designated trades through the College. We provide technical (theory) training in almost 30 trades.

Learn more from the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency.

How do I become a journeyperson?

Once a person completes an apprenticeship program, the person will be eligible to write a provincial or Red Seal certification exam. If successful, the person will receive a journeyperson ID Card and Certificate of Qualification with the Red Seal endorsement, if the trade is Red Seal. The Red Seal endorsement is a recognised standard across Canada, one that employers look for as an indication of skills and competency.

For more information about pre-apprenticeship, direct entry programs and becoming a journeyperson, visit the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency or contact your local Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency Office to get started.

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