Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency has additional tools and authority to enforce certification requirements in the compulsory certified trades after amendments the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualification Act have been proclaimed on October 18, 2018.
The amendments, based on input from industry stakeholders, were passed by the House of Assembly in March, 2018. “It is important to ensure industry has access to the skills in needs to contribute to a vibrant economy,” Labour and Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis says. “These changes will better protect the skills and safety of those who work in the skilled trades.”
With the changes, enforcement officers can inspect employers any time work is being performed. Recognized associations that register apprentices on behalf of employers and dispatch workers to the job sites will be subject to enforcement provisions.
In addition to clarifying the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship’s authority in issuing compliance or stop-work orders, the amendments also made it an offence to breach an order issued by an enforcement officer. Employers are required to assist enforcement officers in carrying out their duties, and the maximum penalties for the first and second offence have been raised from $5,000 to $10,000 and from $10,000 to $50,000 respectively.
“Strong enforcement levels the playing field for those companies who comply with the law and will ensure a safer work environment for all apprentices,” says Duncan Williams, president of Construction Association of Nova Scotia in Dartmouth.
The need to ensure qualifications seems to need changing every now and again because of changing needs and new technologies that come along. Picture the backyard mechanic back in the 60s,70, or the 80s. The computers onboard make it almost impossible for that to happen anymore.
I always salute this type of proposal because there is a really great need for skilled trades everywhere in Canada and I understand that we may run short of candidates. I hope this helps opens doors to more apprenticeships. They will certainly have more skills to work with.
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