NSAA Pathways Project offers new, online self-directed training to benefit apprentices and skilled trade employers

Registration is now open in eight Red Seal trades* where apprentices can partake in self-directed technical training. This will benefit both apprentices and employers as technical training can be completed in the apprentices’ free time and at their own pace.

*The eight Red Seal trades that are included are:

  • Cabinetmaker
  • Concrete Finisher
  • Construction Craft Worker (Labourer)
  • Drywall Finisher and Plasterer
  • Floorcovering Installer
  • Lather
  • Painter and Decorator
  • Tilesetter

How is self-directed training different than traditional technical training for apprentices?

Traditionally, apprentices are temporarily released from their employer after they complete a specified number of hours to complete their technical training (block or level training typically done at a college or virtually with an instructor).  Self-directed training will allow apprentices to access their technical training content online and can be completed in the apprentices free time and at their own pace.

Other benefits may include:

  • An opportunity for apprentices to continue to work and earn money without having to leave employment to complete their technical training.
  • Alieviate the gap that some employers experience when releasing apprentices for their technical training.
  • Attract potential apprentices into these trades and encourage certification.
  • Help meet industry demand for highly skilled trade professionals.

Please note that apprentices are responsible for finding an employer and must register as an apprentice under a certified journeyperson. If you are an employer who would like to hire an apprentice but do not employ a certified journeyperson, please contact Marc Lamarche, Industry Training Consultant to discuss options. Once registered, the apprentice will gain access to their logbooks. Technical training and details for each level will be released as they become available.

Is there an option for those who are already experienced in these trades* to become certified without having to register as an apprentice?

Yes! An individual who already has the required number of documented hours working in a trade is referred to as a Trade Qualifier and may challenge the Red Seal certification exam. The Agency is waiving the Trade Qualifier and exam fee for those who wish to become certified in these trades. Listed below are the required number of hours for each trade:

Red Seal Trade:

Required number of documented hours to challenge exam as a Trade Qualifier:


10,800 hours

Concrete Finisher

5,400 hours

Construction Craft Worker (Labourer)

5,400 hours

Drywall Finisher and Plasterer

5,400 hours

Floorcovering Installer

8,100 hours


8,100 hours

Painter and Decorator

8,100 hours


8,100 hours


If you would like to register as an apprentice, have questions about how to get started, or if you are already experienced in the trades and would like to learn more about challenging an upcoming exam as a trade qualifier, please contact Industry Training Consultant Marc Lamarche via email. Registration forms can be found here. You can access the upcoming exam schedule here.