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he time to become an apprentice in the trades has never been better.

Last week, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil led an agreement between all provinces to recognize the apprenticeship requirements for trade workers in every province. Now, those entering the trades can seek work throughout Canada without fearing rejection of their apprenticeship credentials. Every premier agreed to give those in the trades industry a greater ability to pursue more fruitful careers across the country.

Apprentices can now train and complete their hours anywhere in Canada, whereas they previously needed to complete their hours in a single province. Furthermore, before this agreement, apprentices needed to simply hope that other provinces would recognize their hard work and preparation, regardless of where they practiced. McNeill’s initiative began as an agreement between Nova Scotia and Alberta that facilitated mobility for certified trades workers, and this was recently expanded to include all of the provinces.

A tide that raises all ships for trades jobs

Apprentices can now take their experience with them across Canada, and this opens up a new wave of potential employment opportunities for the nation’s skilled labour force. Some jobs, including many in construction, last only a year or two. Some mega projects last longer, and now our trades people, both current and prospective, can plan for their futures and provide the skilled work that Canada needs.

The premiers’ agreement has created a two-way street of benefits: the first is that people will be able to find work wherever it exists, which has been a longstanding problem for skilled workers, and the other benefit is that each province will now be able to benefit from the greater availability of these apprentices.

Not every province can produce the number of skilled workers that it needs, and there are over 200 different trades practiced across Canada. It just doesn’t make sense for every province to produce all of its own trades people in every specific field. Now, every province can take advantage of incoming apprentices in every trade, exactly when and where they’re needed.

Preparing for the future of trades jobs

There are large construction projects happening across Canada, but they don’t stay in one spot forever – they appear in various spots for a finite amount of time. Some cities will always have a need for constant labour pools in specific trades, but some jobs are more specialized than others. Not all of Canada’s labour pools are distributed evenly, either!

Providing trades people with mobility at the outset of their careers will give them far better employment prospects than simply staying in one or two provinces. Not only does McNeil’s solution solve today’s problem – it solves tomorrow’s obstacles related to security and mobility. Jobs are not always in one place all the time, and the skilled labourers that build Canada’s cities need to follow that work.

Train at Eastern and work anywhere!

Students from Eastern College can now look forward to finding a job in their respective trades anywhere in Canada. Train in Saint John and find work in any province! Employment opportunities for our graduates just increased tenfold.

The baby boomers are leaving a vacuum in the skilled labour force. While this would have put the onus on every province to fill each gap individually before striking this agreement, each province can now call on Canada’s trades people to fill that shortage whenever needed. Call us at Eastern College now to plan for your future in the trades!