Apprenticeship is a form of post-secondary education for both young and mature individuals who want to be certified to work in a skilled trade.

It is a method of learning in which skilled trades professionals (certified journeypersons) pass on knowledge and skills to learners (apprentices). Apprenticeship begins with an agreement between an apprentice and an employer. The apprentice agrees to work for the employer in exchange for supervised, on-the-job training and experience, and the opportunity to participate in the technical training necessary to complete the program.

In the workplace, apprentices are supervised by a certified journeyperson who tracks both their hours and competence in the practical skills of the trade. Technical training is offered in class and/or online and is administered and arranged by the agency.

Upon completion of the apprenticeship program (including on-the-job hours, technical training and competency in workplace practical skills), apprentices are eligible to write a certification exam. If the apprentice receives a mark of 70% or greater, they receive both a Certificate of Qualification and a Certificate of Apprenticeship and become a certified journeyperson.

Click here for a list of the designated trades in Nova Scotia.  About half of these trades offer apprenticeship training opportunities.

For more information about apprenticeship and the skilled trades, visit

The Workit Youth Apprenticeship Initiative is a province-wide effort to fill the increasing labour shortage in Nova Scotia’s skilled trades.  This site has the information you need to learn more about the benefits of youth apprenticeship.