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November 16, 2007

Government Investments Result in Rising Apprenticeship Numbers

Strategic and innovative investments in the skilled trades system have translated into increased numbers of registered apprentices in the province, more individuals writing inter-provincial exams, and more trade qualifiers being approved for certification. More people are also getting their Red Seals which is the highest level of achievement in the trades and is recognized in all provinces and territories.

"It�s great to see this growth in trades training. With the startup of mega-projects just around the corner and in light of current skilled trades shortages, we need to do everything we can to increase capacity in the system at all levels," said the Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Education. "It�s a simple case of supply and demand � the demand is there and it is government�s responsibility to help provide the programming and apprenticeship training. Clearly, many are realizing that the skilled trades can provide a satisfying career and are training for the job opportunities that are on the horizon."

Over the past two years, the Williams Government has allocated $43.6 million in the areas of apprenticeship, science and technology, programming, training and infrastructure. These investments have funded new programs at College of the North Atlantic, improved infrastructure and learning resources, and effectively doubled the number of seats at campuses throughout the province.

Comparing projected numbers for 2007 with the year previous, the number of active apprentices is up by nine per cent, individuals challenging inter-provincial exams is up by six per cent, there is an increase by five per cent in the number of Red Seals awarded, and the number of trade qualifiers being approved is up by an incredible 60 per cent.

"Strengthening the apprenticeship system is one part of our overall goal to increase the number of skilled trades workers in Newfoundland and Labrador," said Minister Burke. "Our recent agreement with the Government of Alberta which allows students to remain registered here is an example of efforts we are making to help our young people continue to call Newfoundland and Labrador home. Business and industry recognize they have a role to play as well and we will continue to work with our partners to give these apprentices a chance to stay at home and help their communities grow and thrive."


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

2007 11 16                                                    12:00 noon

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