FREDERICTON (GNB) – A new shared information technology system will be developed by the four Atlantic provinces and Manitoba, allowing people to make the journey from apprentice to certified tradesperson faster and easier.

The new Apprenticeship Management Solution will allow people to complete forms, process payments, log hours and complete other tasks online. The initiative is part of the Atlantic Apprenticeship Harmonization Project.

“The Atlantic Apprenticeship Harmonization Project supports economic growth and job creation in our region by making it easier for apprentices to train and work in their field within Atlantic Canada,” said Labour, Employment and Population Growth Minister Gilles LePage. “The new Apprenticeship Management Solution represents a successful partnership with the federal government, the Atlantic provinces and Manitoba to modernize our systems and improve services to apprentices and employers.”

The provinces are providing $5.14 million collectively toward the development of the $10-million system, while the federal government is investing $4.86 million.

In addition, through a federal investment of $960,000 for Phase 2 of the Atlantic Apprenticeship Harmonization Project, six new Red Seal trades will be harmonized: truck and transport mechanic, heavy duty equipment technician, automotive service technician, sprinkler system installer, construction boilermaker and industrial mechanic (millwright). The first phase of the project concluded in August, with 10 trades adopting the same education requirements, training and standards, number of hours needed for completion, and the sequencing of courses, as well as streamlining 21 policies and practices.

“Helping apprentices complete their training and get jobs in Atlantic Canada is critical to growing our middle class and strengthening our economy,” said federal Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Minister Patty Hajdu‎. “Harmonizing apprenticeship requirements will make it easier for Canadians to access the training they need to find and keep good, well-paying jobs.”

The Atlantic Apprenticeship Harmonization Project aims to keep apprentices in the region and address skills shortages. About 15,000 apprentices across Atlantic Canada will benefit from the harmonization of 16 trades by 2019.