Apprenticeship and Certificaiton


There are two provincially-designated trades that are unique to Nova Scotia’s boatbuilding and repair industry: Boat Builder and Marine Service Technician. Both the Boat Builder Apprenticeship Program and the Marine Service Technician Apprenticeship Program are on-the-job training programs, jointly administered by the NSBA and the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency. The NSBA also supports experienced workers interested in being certified in these trades who have been practicing the skills of the trade for a minimum number of hours as described in the trade regulations.


These apprenticeship programs are a team effort involving apprentices, journeypersons and mentors, employers, the NSBA and the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency.



It is up to apprentices to ensure they are learning new skills regularly, asking questions as needed, reviewing the training unit workbooks, completing assessments and recording progress.

The Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association

The NSBA supports these apprenticeship programs by helping employers and apprentices navigate the apprenticeship process, monitoring apprentices’ progress, and serving as a liaison between apprentices, employers, and the NS Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA). A member of the NSBA training team will visit apprentices and their mentors on a regular basis to review progress.

Certified Journeypersons (mentors)

Certified Journeypersons are experienced tradespeople who share their skills and knowledge with apprentices. They are a key part of any apprenticeship, as an apprentice must learn from a journeyperson certified in the trade. Mentors are responsible for assessing apprentices’ required competencies. They also act as trainers and ensure that the apprentice receives the best training for each skill and help to answer apprentices’ questions. Mentors encourage and support apprentices’ steady progression and help ensure apprentices’ progress is recorded in their logbook. Mentors are also responsible to model the highest trade standards, teach to the best of their ability and provide active supervision and feedback.

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

The NSAA is responsible for registering Apprentices, administering and enforcing the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualification Act, General Regulations and Trade Regulations. The NSAA maintains a database of completed credits for apprentices and is the certifying body for Apprentices and Trade Qualifiers. Once Apprentices complete all of the requirements of their program, the NSAA will present a Certificate of Qualification.


Any company that wants to be involved in apprenticeship must be committed to training new entrants to the industry in a safe working and learning environment.  The employer’s role is to hire new employees and to encourage them to pursue an apprenticeship; they allow apprentices to fulfil their program requirements while minimizing barriers in the workplace that could prevent effective learning. Employers also must evaluate the performance of both apprentices and mentors on a routine basis. NSBA assists in ensuring the business meets the requirements set by the NSAA.

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You learn the full scope of your chosen trade during your training so you can do your job well and take pride in your work.

You’ll know your skills meet an established standard and you can easily demonstrate that to customers and customers or employers.

It can help your company attract customers.

It can help your company attract job seekers who are interested in apprenticeship, as they need a certified journeyperson to mentor them.

It helps people outside of trades to better understand your skills and knowledge.

Certification in skilled trades helps people outside the trades appreciate the specialized skills required.

Certified people often get paid more because their skills and credentials are valuable to their employers