Government is encouraging more businesses to hire apprentices in Nova Scotia through an expanded procurement program.

In January 2016 government launched a pilot program that required contractors bidding on provincially funded school construction projects to take part in Nova Scotia’s apprenticeship program.

It has now been expanded to include all provincially funded construction projects over $1 million and is now a permanent program in Nova Scotia.

“The apprenticeship system is an integral part of growing our skilled workforce and building a stronger economy,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis. “This initiative is one concrete way government can work with the private sector to employ more apprentices, who are primarily young people, here in Nova Scotia.”

During the pilot phase, more than 90 employers who train apprentices were part of the construction teams that built the new schools in Nova Scotia.

“We are pleased to see the expansion of this program. Apprenticeship is a proven way to increase productivity, transfer knowledge and fine tune skills,” said Duncan Williams, president and CEO of the Construction Association of Nova Scotia. “It is a great industry and we need to attract the best and brightest as projects become increasingly more complex.”

The program applies to contractors whose portion of the bid exceeds $100,000. Exceptions will be made for smaller companies and those whose work does not fall within a designated trade.

This is a joint initiative between the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, and the Construction Association of Nova Scotia.

Contractors must show proof of participation in the apprentice system to perform work on these projects. They can apply for such proof by visiting: https://nsapprenticeship.ca/employers-industry/proc-project.

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