The province is seeking input on plans to introduce a licensing process for the construction electrician and oil burner mechanic trades. The Department of Labour and Workforce Development encourages comments and suggestions from industry representatives and other interested groups to replace the current renewal of a certificate of qualification with a licence to do work. Consultations begin today, July 18, and end August 29. “We’re working to improve service delivery regarding the trades in Nova Scotia, while maintaining efficient government operation and improving safety,” said Mark Parent, Minister of Labour and Workforce Development. “We look forward to working with those who work in the industry and other interested parties to meet these goals.” In the proposed model, a certificate of qualification and licence will both be needed. Once a certificate of qualification is received, it remains valid forever, similar to a high school diploma or a university degree. However, permission to do work must be granted through the issuing of a licence to practice the trade, which is similar to nurses and pilots. The proposed process for obtaining a valid licence will require oil burner mechanics and construction electricians to meet current training and upgrading qualifications. This differs from the current process which does not require upgrading. This aspect will be clarified throughout the consultation process. Mr. Parent said these changes will ensure Nova Scotia’s tradespeople and consumers benefit from the highest standards possible when it comes to safety requirements. The new process for replacing renewals with licences may eventually affect all nine compulsory certified trades, specified under the Apprenticeship and Trade Qualifications Act. However, the concept is to pilot the system with the construction electricians and oil burner mechanic trades, and then evaluate it. This model has been based on the certification and licensing model used for the gas fitter trade. Discussion papers outlining further information about proposed changes to the process will be circulated to industry representatives and posted on the department’s website at www.gov.ns.ca/lwd .