• The unemployment rate in the trades is at a 20-year low in Nova Scotia. Industry experts believe that in order to sustain current levels of employment, three to four thousand new tradespeople are needed in this province alone! (www.buildingfutures.ca)

However, youth have not been actively choosing careers in the skilled trades. In fact, university was the first choice of 67% of young people between the ages of 16-24, well ahead of college or apprenticeship programs. Moreover, only 26% reported that they would consider a career in the skilled trades. (www.careersintrades.ca)

Why is this the case? We suggest there are two main reasons:

1. Many people do not have accurate information about the trades.  The trades have been changing and adapting to new safety standards and have more technology involved.

2. Previously there were few opportunities to explore the skilled trades.  This is improving as new programs exist inside and outside school programming.

Not only is apprenticeship a cost-saving post-secondary option for your students, but there are many jobs available here in Nova Scotia. We want to demonstrate to youth that they can earn a competitive salary and choose to remain in their home communities. Youth apprenticeship is an ideal way for youth to begin their careers while still in high school by trying a job that involves both work and training in a trade that interests them. Youth gain practical hours toward their apprenticeship as they learn on the job.