What is Youth Apprenticeship?

In Nova Scotia, you may register as a youth apprentice if you're 16 to 19 years of age and work part or full-time in one of Nova Scotia's designated trades. There is no fee to register. As a youth apprentice, you can earn while you learn, get a head start in a career in the trades and complete high school, all at the same time. And, you get exposure to the trades through the direct supervision and mentoring of a certified journeyperson.

Youth apprenticeship is promoted through an initiative called Workit. Workit Youth Apprenticeship can provide you with the opportunity to explore a designated trade, and actively encourages you to experience the trades through community-based learning options in the public schools system, such as co-operative education placements and Options and Opportunities (O2). If you participate in these activities, you are eligible to receive apprenticeship credit leading to future apprenticeship certification.

To learn about a career in the trades as a youth apprentice, contact the Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator at the Halifax apprenticeship office.

Learning by Doing

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency works with industry to help promote "Learning by doing" skilled trades opportunities for youth. Check out some of our partners below.

Techsploration

Techsploration supports the career exploration and empowerment of young women in career areas where women remain underrepresented. Grade-9 girls meet and partner with mentors working in science, trade, technology or engineering careers. Through participation in multiple events from grade 9 through to graduation, Techsplorers can meet and hear from hundreds of female mentors.

Skills Canada Nova Scotia (SCNS)

SCNS is a not-for-profit organization that provides opportunities for youth to explore skilled trades and technologies through a range of programs made possible by partnerships with industry, government and education. 

Showcase your talent at the Nova Scotia Skills Competition!

Every spring, SCNS (which works with Skills Canada and World Skills) presents its Olympic-style NS Skills Competition, where 300+ youth compete in 45 skilled trades/technologies throughout the province.

Are you an apprentice who would like to compete in your trade? Or an employer with an apprentice who excels? At the NS Skills Competition, apprentices display their talents, compete against peers and may get to go to nationals.

Trades Exhibition Hall

The Trades Exhibition Hall is a one-of-a-kind facility that hosts participants to explore the tasks of 15 different Construction Trades in a hands on way. Booths are staffed by tradespersons who can guide participants through activities that allow them to understand what to expect in the trade and how to become certified.

The Mobile Construction Experience was created to support youth especially in rural areas to engage in the activities of the Trades Hall without the requirement to travel to Halifax for it.  A transport trailer was purpose-built to showcase 10 different Construction Trades to engage rural communities in the same hands on activities they would experience in the Trades Exhibition Hall.

High School Courses

Co-operative Education and Options & Opportunities (O2)

These programs provide students in the public school system the opportunity to engage in in-depth career exploration through their course work. A required component of these programs/courses is that students will gain experience on the job in a variety of occupations. If a student completes their co-op work term under the supervision of a certified journeyperson, they qualify to claim 100 hours of apprenticeship practical credit towards certification. For more information, visit the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Co-operative Education page and the Options and Opportunities (O2) page.

Skilled Trades Courses

Skilled Trades courses are the starting point for Nova Scotia high school students who want to explore the skilled trades as a possible career option. These courses are based on curricula that immerse students in the realities of skilled trades work. Skilled Trades courses are designed to be taught by certified journeypeople. As the result of an agreement between the Nova Scotia Departments of Education, and the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency, students receive up to 110 apprenticeship practical hours, upon registration as an apprentice, based on the actual time in class while under the supervision of a certified journeyperson teacher.

Summer Youth Apprenticeship Programs

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency works with industry to help promote skilled trades opportunities to youth. This includes the delivery of summer youth apprenticeship programs.

These programs provide grade 10 and 11 students in the Options and Opportunities and Co-op programs the opportunity to earn hours toward an apprenticeship and high school credits through 5-7-week on-the-job paid work terms. The programs are funded and supported by the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency and participating employers. They are led by industry associations and offered in partnership with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and regional school boards. For more info, contact the Youth Outreach Coordinator

Test Drive Automotive Apprenticeship

TestDrive gives students an opportunity to explore skilled trade careers in the motive power sector.

Led by the Automotive Sector Council of Nova Scotia with funding from NSAA, TestDrive is available in targeted geographic areas of the province where workforce demands are highest. NSCC delivers workplace safety and industry training for students before they start their paid summer work terms.

For completing this summer program, students receive 300 hours of apprenticeship practical credit as well as earning 3 high school co-op credits.

Building Futures for Youth

Building Futures for Youth enables students to explore skilled trade careers in Nova Scotia’s construction industry.

Led by the Construction Association of Nova Scotia with funding from NSAA, Building Futures for Youth is available in all Nova Scotia Regional Centres for Education and Conseil Scolaire Acadien Provincial. NSCC and the Construction Safety Association deliver workplace safety and industry training for students before they start their paid summer work terms.

For completing this summer program, students receive 300 hours of apprenticeship practical credit as well as earning 3 high school co-op credits.

Serve it Up!

Serve it Up! enables students to work alongside a Red Seal certified Cook for practical, hands-on job experience in the culinary industry.

Led by the Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resources Sector Council with funding from NSAA, Serve it Up! is available to grades 10 and 11 students in targeted geographic areas of the province where workforce demands are highest. Students receive workplace safety and industry training before they start their paid summer work terms.

For completing this summer program, students receive 250 hours of apprenticeship practical credit as well as earning 2.5 high school co-op credits.

Summer Camps

NSAA works with many organizations to provide experiential learning opportunities throughout the summer.  These summer camps connect youth with trades-focused activities allowing them to explore careers within trades in a fun and interactive way.