Why Apprenticeship?

If you’re an employer that relies on skilled workers, apprenticeship is one of the best investments you can make. Not only is it a proven way to develop the right talent for your workplace, it also contributes to the success of your business. Take a look at the benefits that come with hiring an apprentice.

Meet your unique skills needs

As apprentices work and learn on the job, they not only develop their skill, they get to know your business. They become highly specialized in your processes, equipment and customers. Many employers find that those who started as apprentices end up being their future leaders.

Improve productivity and performance

For every $1 invested in training an apprentice, employers across the country report an average return of $1.47. As apprentices develop and become journeypersons in the companies they train with, they are almost 30% more productive and have better health and safety records. SOURCE: Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, It Pays to Hire an Apprentice

Develop a more tech-savvy workforce

Through technical and classroom instruction, apprentices learn the latest innovations. They are comfortable with technology and bring added expertise to your team. Your training, combined with new skills apprentices bring to the table, can move your business forward.

Bring new energy and diversity to your workplace

Today’s apprentices come from all walks of life - from young people who are choosing apprenticeship as their post-secondary path to experienced workers making a career change. There are more women entering the skilled trades, as well as people from many cultures. They’re smart, motivated and bring fresh energy to your workplace.

Take advantage of programs and incentives

The benefits that come with apprenticeship make it a smart investment for any business – small, medium or large. It makes even more sense when you consider the supports available to employers.

For employers, it is important to hire and identify a journeyperson who is capable of training, to your standards and business requirements, an apprentice you wish to hire.

Also, whether you're an employer, homeowner or contractor in need of a qualified tradesperson to do a professional job, always remember to ask for credentials. All journeypersons certified in Nova Scotia and all registered apprentices carry a photo identification card that specifies their trade.

A photo ID card confirms that the individual has met industry standards in the trade or is currently a registered apprentice in the trade. It's always a good idea to hire a professional tradesperson, and, in some cases, it's the law. If a tradesperson working in one of the compulsory certified trades cannot produce their photo ID card, they may be working illegally. Ask for the card. It's a quick question that could save you a lot of headaches and money.

When you hire an apprentice, clearly define the skills you want and the role they could play within your business. It is also important to identify a journeyperson who is capable of training the apprentice to your standards.

In Nova Scotia, if you hire a potential apprentice in one of the compulsory certified trades, you must contact the apprenticeship office nearest you to get a temporary permit. This permit allows the potential apprentice to work for a probationary period, or until they are formally registered as an apprentice.


  • Financial Supports for Employers
  • Atlantic Trades Business Seal: Do you want to develop the skills you need to manage a trades-related business? Do you want to start your own trades business? Then the Atlantic Trades Business Seal Program (ATBS) is for you!
  • Provincially-Funded Construction: The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency, in partnership with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal and the Construction Association of Nova Scotia, introduced requirements where contractors bidding on provincially-funded construction projects must be engaged in the Apprenticeship Program. Starting in January 2016, the Apprenticeship Procurement Program was piloted on the building of new schools. Effective January 8, 2019, the Apprenticeship Procurement Program is extended to all contractors bidding on any provincially-funded construction project over $1M.
  • Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF):