January 25, 2007

Important Changes Made to Apprenticeship Registration System

Changes to the provincial Apprenticeship Registration System will vastly improve the ability of apprentices to secure their journeyperson certification. The Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Education, announced significant changes to the Apprenticeship Registration Program in Corner Brook today.

Under the new system, apprentices will receive credit for on the job training they log in Alberta. "For too long, our apprentices have been penalized and subjected to a process filled with red tape that has forced them to choose between Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta," said Minister Burke. "From this point forward, apprentices who remain permanent residents of this province will receive full recognition for their work experiences in Alberta and be able to continue their in class training in Newfoundland and Labrador. This will ultimately make it far easier for an apprentice to complete the requirements for certification in their chosen trade."

There are emerging economic opportunities in Newfoundland and Labrador in large-scale development projects such as Lower Churchill, Voisey�s Bay and Hebron Ben Nevis, among others. The provincial government is exploring all options to ensure Newfoundland and Labrador is building a qualified and skilled workforce that meets industry demands.

Bob Ridgley, MHA for St. John�s North and chair of the Skills Task Force, said there has been a keen interest in adjusting the Apprenticeship Registration System to better meet both the needs of apprentices and the demand for skilled labour. "This issue was raised many times during our recent consultations across the province," said MHA Ridgley. "It is very encouraging that Minister Burke and the department have recognized the need to act promptly to improve this particular issue for our apprentices in training. It also demonstrates support for the work of the Skills Task Force and our recommendations which will be finalized in the very near future."

Discussions with the Alberta Department of Advanced Education and Technology to resolve the concerns of apprentices have been ongoing for several months. As a result, both Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta have agreed to recognize apprentices registered in each other�s jurisdiction. Under the new system, apprentices who remain permanent residences of Newfoundland and Labrador, will also be eligible for all benefits of the apprenticeship system, including access to federal funding under the Labour Market Development Agreement to cover educational costs.

The changes to the Apprenticeship Registration System have been approved by the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Apprenticeship and Certification Board. Rex Cotter is the board chair. "Our board is delighted to be able to recognize on the job training experiences gained by apprentices in Alberta. Skills acquired on the job are an integral part of the apprenticeship program and we must support our workers in their efforts to pursue a trade. It�s good for the worker and it�s good for our province."

"This is a win-win situation for everyone involved. Up to this point, when apprentices left Newfoundland and Labrador to get work experience, they often stayed, as returning was just so complicated," said Minister Burke. "There are great things happening in our province and we are creating every opportunity for our citizens to take full advantage. The department will be pursuing similar arrangements for apprentices with other jurisdictions."

More information on the new regulations can be found on the Department of Education web site at // Those interested can also email, call toll-free 1-877-771-3737 or contact a regional office listed below.

St. John's
Department of Education
Industrial Training Section
Confederation Building, West Block
St. John's, NL A1B 4J6

Grand Falls-Windsor
Department of Education
Industrial Training Section
Provincial Building
3 Cromer Avenue
Grand Falls-Windsor NL
A2A 1W9

Corner Brook
Department of Education
Institutional and Industrial Education
Industrial Training Section
P.O. Box 2006
4th floor, Sir Richard Squires Building
84 Mount Bernard Avenue
Corner Brook, NL
A2H 6J8

Happy Valley-Goose Bay Labrador
Department of Education
Industrial Training Section
219 Hamilton River Road
P.O. Box 3014, Stn. B
Happy Valley Goose Bay Labrador
A0P 1E0


Media contact:
Jacquelyn Howard
Director of Communications
Department of Education
709-729-0048, 689-2624

2007 01 25                                                   12:10 p.m.

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