Welcome to the 2023 Nova Scotia Skills Competition – Message from the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.

As the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the Skills Canada Nova Scotia Provincial Competition.

Canada’s workforce needs more skilled trade workers. Demographic shifts and high retirement rates are creating an ever-growing need to recruit and train thousands more Canadians in the skilled trades. They have expertise and skills that are essential to our economy and our way of life. All through the pandemic, skilled tradespeople have been critical to essential sectors and they will have an even greater role to play in our economic recovery.

Between 2019 and 2028, about 700,000 skilled trades workers are expected to retire. Through this competition, you are investing time and energy in skills that Canada’s economy will need more and more in the years to come.

When Canadians are contemplating a new career, we want them to consider entering the skilled trades and to understand the exciting, well-paying opportunities they present. It’s so important that we ensure all Canadians—including those from equity-deserving groups who face barriers, such as youth, women, newcomers, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, members of 2SLGBTQI+ communities and racialized individuals—get the opportunity to explore and prepare for good careers.

As a government, we are making targeted investments to help more Canadians from all backgrounds to build careers in the skilled trades. We launched a national campaign last year to encourage more youth to consider entering in-demand skilled trades.

To promote the skilled trades as a first choice career, the Government of Canada annually invests nearly $1 billion in apprenticeship supports through grants, loans, tax credits, Employment Insurance benefits during in-school training, project funding and support for the Red Seal program.

We launched the Apprenticeship Service to encourage and help small and medium-sized employers hire first-year apprentices in construction and manufacturing trades so that they can get the hands-on experience and training they need for a career in the skilled trades. To boost diversity in the Red Seal trades, the incentive is doubled for employers who hire from traditionally marginalized groups, specifically women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people, members of the 2SLGBTQI+ community, newcomers and visible minorities including Black and other racialized communities.

A career in the skilled trades helps you get into the workforce faster, and you can earn while you learn. Salaries are competitive and there are opportunities for advancement. You might also qualify for government funding to support your training, such as grants, loans, tool deductions and tuition tax credits.

By working with partners like Skills Canada Nova Scotia, we are helping to ensure more young Canadians like yourselves get the opportunity to learn about and participate in the well-paying, rewarding careers that the skilled trades have to offer.

Best of luck to you in the competitions, and have fun!

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, P.C., M.P.

Government of Canada Logo