Do you want to double your child’s chances of finding a rewarding career? Keep reading!

If you are like most Canadians, you believe that university is for smart students, whereas the skilled trades are for students who struggle academically. But that’s a myth. Skilled trades careers offer opportunities for creative, lucrative work—work that not only pays well but also offers many intrinsic rewards.

The average Atlantic university graduate ends up with $30,000 in student debt. Skilled trades apprentices, on the other hand, earn wages while they’re becoming certified.  Students with strong academic backgrounds should strongly consider the skilled trades as a career option.

Encourage your child to explore the skilled trades education courses available at several high schools across the province. Click on the side links for more information about Skilled Trades 10, Construction Trades 11, Transportation Trades 11, and Skilled Trades 12 Co-op.

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

Exploring the skilled trades for full academic credit and Apprenticeship hours

Skilled Trades is now an area of learning in Nova Scotia's high school program.  All courses are designed by experienced skilled trades educators with extensive practical industry experience. The curriculum enables students to explore skilled trades careers, earn an academic credit, and work with their hands.

Skilled Trades courses keep the door to university open while opening a second door to a three- to five-year apprenticeship training programs. It doubles your child’s chances of discovering a rewarding career.

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 in Skilled Trades courses earn academic credit.  As well, the courses fulfill the Science, Mathematics, and Technology requirements for graduation.


Real tasks and real projects

Skilled Trades courses are designed for students in grade 10 and above. Each course provides a unique mixture of theoretical and practical, simulated workplace activities. Working with the same tools used by professional tradespeople, students complete real tasks and projects.

Skilled Trades 10 is the prerequisite to all Skilled Trades courses. Its capstone project requires students to work in teams to build a wall, complete with plumbing and electrical wiring. The entire Construction Trades 11 is the demolition and construction of a four-unit building complete with a full bathroom.  Students in Transportation Trades 11 disassemble and re-assemble a car engine and work about a brand new Chevrolet Cruze. Skilled Trades 12 Co-op is no longer a simulated environment - its the real thing!

Because the Skilled Trades curricula offers such a unique mixture of activities, courses are delivered in a new learning environment called the Skilled Trades Centre. The Skilled Trades Centre converts the space normally occupied by regular classrooms into an area where the transition from theory to practice and back is seamless.  Skilled Trades Centres are located inside the high shool to highlight the relevance of academic learning to skilled trades learning. Students begin to recognize why they had to work with fractions or write reports.

Safety and Skilled Trades courses

A culture of safety is endemic to the skilled trades. Adhenence to safe working practices is required during all activities in the Skilled Trades Centre.  Instructors are certified, highly experienced tradespeople with years of safety training and practical experience.  Only job-rated, well-maintained construction grade tools and equipment are used.

Enrollment is limited to 16 students to allow for close supervision.

The Skilled Trades 10 curriculum

Within the Skilled Trades Centre, students follow a curriculum that focuses on four topical areas:

  • Safety
  • Skilled trades living
  • Measurement and calculation for trades
  • Tools and materials of the skilled trades

Most days, teachers and students address learning outcomes from all four topical areas. In a typical class, students explore career opportunities and also work on mastering the professional techniques needed to build, wire, and install plumbing for their wall. These activities develop the confidence and knowledge needed to pursue additional skilled trades courses, such as Construction Trades 11. The hands-on experience also provides valuable life skills students can put to use in well-paying summer jobs.

Encourage your child to take action today

If you would like your child to have the opportunity to explore rewarding careers while earning full academic credit, then encourage your son or daughter to contact the school’s guidance counselor.  Enrollment in this high-quality program is restricted to 16 students per offering, so your child needs to take action today.