Attention Nova Scotia Educators!

You may have heard the buzz about the Skilled Trades suite of courses.

Skilled Trades, now an area of study in the Public School Progarm, comprises Skilled Trades 10, Construction Trades 11, Transportation Trades 11, and Skilled Trades 12 Co-op.

These courses enable students to explore career opportunities in the skilled trades and perform hands-on tasks while earning full academic credit.

Currently, Skilled Trades are offered at the following schools.

  • Annapolis West Education Centre
  • Breton Ed Centre
  • Eastern Shore District High School
  • École Beau-Port à Arichat
  • Hants East Rural High School
  • JL lIsley High School
  • Park View Education Centre
  • Sackville High School  
  • Shelburne Regional High School

Students earn full academic credit and Apprenticeship hours

Skilled Trades courses are designed to give students the most realistic and current picture of what a career in the trades would be like.  They are designed to be both true to the trades and pedagogically sound. All Skilled Trades are designed for female and male students with strong academic backgrounds.  They broaden the choices students can make which allows them to consider a three- to five-year apprenticeship in addition to university as a viable, rewarding career path.

Students who successfully complete Skilled Trades courses under the direction of a certified journeyperson teacher can earn up to 500 hours upon registration as an apprentice or youth apprentice.


Students work hard for their academic credit.

Strong ties between Skilled Trades courses and the skilled trades workplace make them very demanding courses. In addition to acquiring new skills, attitudes, and knowlege, tudents must effectively exercize safety regulations, follow instructions, and address the challenges of working with real tools and materials to complete tasks on schedule. The nature of trades work makes learning in Skilled Trades course work necessarily rigourous.  To a much greater degree than in many other courses, students need to roll up their sleeves and take responsibility for their learning.


Classes reinforce math and literacy development

Math and literacy development are reinforced throughout all Skilled Trades courses.  Students are regularly challenged to make accurate measurements and calculations, estimate material requirements, interpret specific trades schematics, and create scaled drawings. They must also make presentations on a variety of topics, write reports, enter daily reflections in a Record of Progress or Learning Journal, and craft invitations and thank-you notes for guest speakers.

In addition to written text, students become familiar with and use a variety of charts, maps, and schematics (as evidenced by the Constrution Trades 11 Gantt chart above.)

Classes follow an 80% "Hands-on, Head's in" approach

Skilled Trades courses require a minimum of 110 hours of active learning.  They provide the starting point for students who want to explore the skilled trades as a career option.  Skilled Trades curricula immerse students in the realities of skilled trades work.  Designed in consultation with industry, stakeholders, and experienced trades educators from high schools and the Nova Scotia Community College,  Skilled Trades courses provide a mixture of classroom and simulated workplace activities.  Students spend approximatly 80% of their time completing real tasks and real projects using the tools of industry professionals.

While many students enjoy 'hands-on' work, they soon come to realize their hands won't work without using their heads. As educators, we know that this is how good learning occurs.

Teachers are certified, Red Seal-endorsed tradespeople

Teachers in Skilled Trades courses are required to have journeyperson status in a recognized trade.  As well, most Skilled Trades teachers have Red Seal endorsement of their trade certification. The Red Seal is the highest endorsement that a tradesperson can attain in Canada.

The Red Seal endorsement is administered by the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship.  It signifies a standard of professional competency that is recognized by peers within the trade, employers, and the public. The Red Seal provides a certified uniform standard of performance that allows tradespeople greater mobility throughout Canada.


Skilled Trades 10 is the starting point for students who want to explore the skilled trades as a career option.  It features a curriculum that immerses students in the realities of skilled trades work.  Designed in consultation with certified, Red Seal-endorsed trades educators, Skilled Trades 10 provides a mixture of classroom and practical workplace activities.  Students spend approximately 80% of their time completing real trades tasks and projects, using the basic hand tools of industry professionals.

Skilled Trades 10 is the first in a suite of courses that fully integrates a range of skilled trades into Nova Scotia’s high schools.


Construction Trades 11 - Building a connection

Construction Trades 11 comprises the building of a complete, full-scale four unit building. Each unit contains a room plus a full bathroom. The class is divided into four groups of four and each group is responsible for its unit.  Students frame, rough-in, and finish the work of six different trades.


Transportation Trades 11 - A road to the trades

Transportation Trades 11 is designed so that students begin to understand service work in an automotive setting. Students disassemble and re-assemble an engine paying attention to components and making calculations that unfold the internal combustion system. Student also perform maintenance, diagnostic and other tasks on a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze.


Skilled Trades 12 - Co-op  A real world connection

Skilled Trades 12 Co-op is literally where the rubber meets the road.  Students work directly with a certified journeyperson performing the actual tasks of the trade in a community-based setting.


And there's more to come!

Manufacturing Trades 11 is currently under construction with an antipated pilot date of September, 2013.  Culinary Arts 11 is also being considered.



Enrollment is limited

Enrollment in Skilled Trades 10 is limited to 16 students.  Interested students should be encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Please tell all the students at your school about this exciting opportunity to explore a career in the skilled trades while earning an academic credit.

If you have any questions, or want more detailed information about Skilled Trades education in Nova Scotia high schools, please visit the following website: