Boat Builder Apprenticeship Program

The Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association, in partnership with the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA) and the New Zealand Marine and Composites Industry Training Organisation (NZMACITO), coordinates and delivers a comprehensive Boat Builder Apprenticeship Program (BBAP) to help ensure the development of a competent workforce trained to international boatbuilding standards.

Training Boatbuilders – A Team Effort

The NS BBAP involves Apprentices, Certified Journeypeople and Mentors, Owner-Operators, the NSAA and the NSBA.


If you’re looking to start a challenging and interesting career as a Nova Scotia boatbuilder, contact us first. One of our training team will look at your resumé and talk with you about your current skills and help you identify whether a boatbuilding apprenticeship could be right for you. You can email us at or by phone at 902-423-2378 during regular business hours.

If you are not already working in the industry, the next step is to find an employer with a certified Boat Builder who can serve as your mentor. You can find a list of NSBA members with certified Boat Builders through the Jobs section of our website. Once you have completed a three-month probationary period in the industry, a representative from the NSBA will complete an Apprenticeship Training Agreement with you and your employer and the NSAA will register you as an Apprentice with the provincial government. During these initial visits, the apprenticeship program will be explained to you and you will receive a NS Boat Builder Apprenticeship Program (BBAP) Logbook.

During your apprenticeship, you will choose one of three streams as a focus: composites (fibre-reinforced plastic), metal, or wood. You will also complete a number of training units that are shared by all three streams plus a specific number of elective training units.

The NSBA supports the Boat Building Apprenticeship Program (BBAP) by helping employers and apprentices navigate the apprenticeship process, monitoring apprentices’ progress, and serving as a liaison between apprentices, employers, and the NS Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA).

A member of the NSBA training team will visit you on a regular basis to review your progress. It is up to you and the certified boat builder(s) mentoring you to ensure you are learning new skills, reviewing your training unit workbooks, and keeping track of your progress and ensure you are learning new skills on a regular basis.

Certified Journeypeople (Mentors) – including how experienced boat builders can have their skills recognized for certification

Certified Journeypeople are skilled, experienced boatbuilders working on the shop floor. They are a key part of any apprenticeship, as an apprentice must learn from a journeyperson certified in the trade.

If you have been working as a boat builder for a number of years and you are interested in receiving your Nova Scotia Boat Builder Certificate of Qualification to become a Certified Journeyperson, you will need to demonstrate that you have worked in the trade for 9450 hours and have the competencies described in the curriculum standard. Please email for more information.

Mentors are responsible for assessing Apprentices’ competency in various boatbuilding skills. They also act as trainers and ensure that the Apprentice receives the best training for each skill set as well as helping answer Apprentices’ questions.

Mentors are given an orientation by the NSBA and participate in the quarterly review process with the Apprentice and a representative from the NSBA training team to make sure the apprentice is progressing well through the program. Mentors are also responsible to model the highest trade standards, teach to the best of their ability, and provide active supervision and feedback.


Any boatbuilding company that wants to be involved in NS BBAP must be committed to training new entrants to the boatbuilding industry in a safe working and learning environment.  The Owner/Operator’s role is to hire new employees and to encourage them in pursuing the apprenticeship path; they allow Apprentices to fulfil the requirements of their program while minimizing barriers in the workplace that would prevent a transfer of learning.  Owner-Operators also must evaluate the performance of both Apprentices and Mentors on a routine basis.  NSBA assists in ensuring the business meet the requirements set by the NSAA.

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA) is responsible for registering Apprentices, administering and enforcing the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualification Act, General Regulations and Trade Regulations.  The NSAA maintains a database of completed credits for Boat Builder Apprentices and is the certifying body for Apprentices and Trade Qualifiers.  Once Apprentices complete all of the requirements of their program, the NSAA will present to them a Certificate of Qualification.

Atlantic Trades Business Seal

Are you and the journeypersons in your company aware of this program for certified trades people to learn and/or demonstrate business and leadership skills? Visit the NS Apprenticeship Agency website for more information –

For more information on NS Boat Builder Apprenticeship, click here.

For information on apprenticeship in Nova Scotia through the NSAA, visit

Click here to return to the Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association Training Page.

NSBA acknowledges the support of  NS Logo