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Federal and Provincial governments invest in new program to help tradespeople earn business credentials

A new trade certification program will help enterprising tradespeople in Atlantic Canada obtain all the tools they’ll need to succeed in business.

The Atlantic Trades Business Seal Program was announced today by the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and the Honourable Joan Shea, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills.

This pan-Atlantic initiative will provide tradespeople with the opportunity to supplement their trade certification with business credentials to help them start and expand their businesses or move into managerial roles within an existing company.

“Our Government is committed to supporting certification and training initiatives that promote skills development and create job opportunities for Atlantic Canadians,” said Minister Shea. “Our support for the Atlantic Trades Business Seal Program will help tradespeople achieve their business goals, as well as to take advantage of the historic opportunities that will flow from projects like the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.”

“Through the Atlantic Trades Business Seal Program, College of the North Atlantic can now offer a suite of courses that meet a growing regional and national labour force needs,” said Minister Shea. “The program will benefit certified journeypersons in the skilled trades, who will add important credentials to their experience, and also support the business community, which can utilize these journeypersons to lead key projects.”

As a recognized standard throughout Atlantic Canada, the Atlantic Trades Business Seal will complement the Red Seal endorsement, which is accepted across Canada as an industry standard of excellence for the skilled trades.

The Atlantic Trades Business Seal Program is being offered in five colleges across Atlantic Canada, including: Nova Scotia Community College; New Brunswick Community College and Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick; College of the North Atlantic in Newfoundland and Labrador; and Holland College on Prince Edward Island. In order to achieve the business seal, program participants are required to complete five stand-alone modules (150 hours of study) in the following areas: operations management, business planning, marketing and sales, financial management, and human resource management.

The program offers many advantages, including: encouraging formal learning and training beyond the trade certificate; presenting new career opportunities by promoting the successful start-up and growth of trades-related businesses; providing a common recognized standard through which existing businesses can identify individuals with the skills to manage or take over a business, thus facilitating succession planning; contributing to greater worker mobility across the Atlantic region; and providing the next generation of apprentices with more opportunites to gain seasoned experience faster, which, in turn, will help the industry’s efforts to attract more young people to the skilled trades as a career option.

It is widely recognized that the skilled trades sector in Canada will be at a deficit in the near future. According to the Conference Board of Canada, nearly one million positions in trades will open up nationwide due to retirements by 2020.

The Government of Canada, through ACOA, is investing $100,236 in the Atlantic Trades Business Seal Program under the Business Development Program. The government of Newfoundland and Labrador is investing $10,137.

The new initiative is led by the Atlantic Apprenticeship Council which encourages the standardization of apprenticeship training and certification programs and provides greater mobility across Atlantic Canada for skilled workers. The Council is made up of apprenticeship directors and apprenticeship board chairs of the four Atlantic provinces and works with the Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training (CAMET).

For more information on the Atlantic Trades Business Seal Program, visit the program’s Web site at:


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