FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Atlantic Workforce Partnership has made significant progress on several initiatives that will help build a skilled workforce and promote apprentice mobility across Atlantic Canada.

“The Atlantic Apprenticeship Harmonization Project is an example of regional collaboration that is creating the right conditions for economic growth in our region,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Francine Landry. “Thanks to the work of the partnership, apprentices in Atlantic Canada will have seamless mobility, which will enable them to capitalize on employment opportunities at home by gaining access to more on-the-job training opportunities and valuable work experience.”

New Brunswick is currently hosting the partnership, which was established by the Council of Atlantic Premiers in 2012. The council signed Memorandums of Understanding in 2014 and 2015 supporting the Atlantic Apprenticeship Harmonization Project and the mobility of apprentices across Atlantic Canada. The project is funded in part by the federal government.

Ten trades will be harmonized by July 2017: bricklayer, cook, welder, metal fabricator (fitter), carpenter, construction electrician, industrial electrician, instrumentation and control technician, steamfitter-pipefitter, and plumber.

Recent examples of regional co-operation on the project include:

  • the cook, bricklayer, welder and metal fabricator (fitter) apprenticeship programs have been harmonized;
  • a common set of rules and guidelines for examination accommodations and rewrites has been established for all Atlantic provinces;
  • common registration and completion requirements across Atlantic Canada have been established and will promote apprentice mobility;
  • the Atlantic provinces have aligned education requirements, which will promote high school completion and the need for a higher level of essential skills when entering apprenticeship;
  • common trade qualifier requirements have been established across the Atlantic provinces;
  • a common bilingual Atlantic logbook has been published for the bricklayer and cook apprenticeship program, and publication for the remaining trades will occur as harmonization of these programs are completed; and
  • trade skills in the Atlantic logbook have been aligned to the level structure of the Atlantic Apprenticeship Curriculum Standard.

In addition, six priorities have been identified for collaboration within the partnership: apprenticeship; federal engagement related to Federal/Provincial Labour Market Agreements; labour market information; business support; attraction of skilled workers and immigration; and youth.