Nova Scotia's skilled trades sector is one of the highest job opportunity sectors that this province has to offer. Recognizing the importance of this option for our students, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development developed a suite of courses focused on the skilled trades. These courses promote career exploration and skill development in the trades, and cater to a wide variety of learning styles.
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. They were designed by high school teachers and experienced trades educators from the Nova Scotia Community College in consultation with industry representatives.
Skilled Trades courses provide a mixture of theoretical and practical workplace activities. Students spend approximately 80% of their time completing actual trades tasks and projects using the basic tools of industry professionals. Skilled Trades courses are currently comprised of Skilled Trades 10, Construction Trades 11, Transportation Trades 11, Manufacturing Trades 11 and Skilled Trades Co-op 12. A Culinary Arts 11 course is under development.
Skilled Trades courses are designed to be taught by certified journeypersons. As the result of an agreement between the Nova Scotia Departments of Education, and Labour and Advanced Education, students receive apprenticeship hours, upon registration, based on the actual time in class while under the supervision of a certified journeyperson teacher.
Skilled Trades 10 was introduced in February 2009. Many of the Skilled Trades Education students will pursue work in a trade either through direct entry into the workforce or after completing other post-secondary options.
Whether students move into a skilled trades occupation or not, they will have acquired transferable skills that will serve them throughout their lives.