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Apprenticeship in early Canada

What is apprenticeship/apprenticeship training system?

Apprenticeship is an agreement between an apprentice and an employer that combines on-the-job experience with technical training. Apprentices who complete all work and technical training requirements, receive competence verification by a qualified tradesperson and successfully pass the Interprovincial Red Seal Exam are awarded a Certificate of Apprenticeship and a Certificate of Qualification and become certified journeypersons in a trade.


What is an apprentice?

An apprentice is someone learning their trade on the job, under the supervision and mentorship of a certified journeyperson, with periods of technical training, in an apprenticeable trade and registered as an apprentice with the Government of Nova Scotia.

What is a journeyperson?

A journeyperson is someone who has acquired the knowledge and skills in a trade and has been issued a Certificate of Qualification as attested to by a provincial or territorial authority.

What is a youth apprentice?

A youth apprentice is from 16 to 19 years of age and works part or full time in one of Nova Scotia’s designated trades.For more details about youth apprenticeship, visit the Workit website.

What is the Red Seal Program?

The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program was established to provide skilled workers with greater mobility across Canada. Through the program, both apprentices who have completed their training and certified journeypersons are able to obtain a Red Seal endorsement on their Certificate of Qualification by successfully completing, where applicable, an Interprovincial Red Seal Exam (IP Exam). Individuals who obtain the Red Seal endorsement can work anywhere in Canada without further training or examination.Red Seal website

Benefits of Apprenticeship Training

  1. Earn money while you learn!As an apprentice, you receive a salary from the employer that hires you. This salary increases as each stage of the program is successfully completed.
  2. Little to no student debtAnother big benefit of apprenticeship training is that debt loads after completion of apprenticeships are much lower, since apprentices “earn while they learn”. You may also be eligible for taxable financial awards and tax credits. Click here for more information.
  3. Job opportunitiesSkilled workers are in demand in Nova Scotia and across the country. A good work ethic, a can-do attitude and a Certificate of Qualification will provide you with the tools to find a job when you finish your post-secondary education.
  4. Mentorship and hands-on-trainingAs an apprentice, you will have an opportunity to learn high level skills through personal, on-the-job training from a highly qualified journeyperson.
  5. Skills to last a lifetimeAs an apprentice, the skills you learn will not only last a lifetime, they will also open doors to other opportunities. You can take advanced training to continue developing your talent and work your way into challenging and rewarding careers in management or teaching. Many tradespeople start their own businesses.


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