For information on upcoming workshops and events, please check out our Events Calendar.

The Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association develops, facilitates, and manages training for the boatbuilding/boat repair and service industry in Canada’s Maritimes.

Through separate licensing agreements with New Zealand’s Marine and Composites Industry Training Organisation and British Columbia’s Quadrant Marine Institute, and in partnership with the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency, the NSBA has established Certification and Apprenticeship Programs for two trades: Boat Builder and Marine Service Technician.

Both the Boat Builders Apprenticeship Program and the Marine Service Technician Apprenticeship Program in Nova Scotia are on-the-job training programs, jointly administered by the Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association and the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency.

Boat Builders construct and repair commercial and recreational boats in composites, metal, or wood – and install a variety of boat systems.

Marine Service Technicians service, repair, refit, and upgrade commercial and pleasure boats, power and sail. They perform structural, cosmetic, electrical, electronic and mechanical work on boats. They also set and tune rigging and haul and store boats.

Hiring Skilled Workers

Several NSBA members are very busy, with orders on the books – and not enough workers to fill them. This is especially true for those member boatyards who have diversified away from building just fishing boats for the domestic market; the markets recreational boats, boats for other commercial applications, and fishing boats for other parts of North America are holding steady or growing.

There is a continued challenge to find skilled workers. Placing ads in the newspaper just doesn’t seem to work, and its expensive. NSBA is doing what it can to place new workers in the boatshops, and we are continuing to promote boatbuilding as a career to our young people.

If your shop needs people, here are some ways to get the word out in addition to (or maybe instead of!) running an ad in the Chronicle-Herald and Daily News.

1. Email your job postings to NSBA. We’ll post them on our website, plus then we’ll have them on hand when workers contact us.

2. Use your money to run ads in small local papers; many communities now have free or very inexpensive newspapers. Your dollars will go a lot farther if you spread them around to several inexpensive publications!

3. Check with your local employment office and post your jobs there. Make sure the posting you write gives a clear description of the job duties and expectations.

4. Talk to the staff at the employment office. Explain that you have jobs available and what the skills required are. These folks see people every day who are looking for work, and they can point the right people in your direction.

5. Don’t underestimate the internet! Lots of young people do all of their job searching online. There are several job search websites including Monster, Workopolis, JobsPress… and more besides.

Learning Opportunities for Skilled Tradespeople:

NSBA offers short workshops and learning opportunities at various times. These are generally advertised through our website, our monthly eNews to members, and email notices along with other methods. We also share information about learning opportunities through partner organizations.

In addition to opportunities coordinated organized and/or promoted through NSBA, people who are already certified journeypersons in their trade can advance their skills with the Atlantic Trades Business Seal –

From the NSAA website: “The Atlantic Trades Business Seal Program is a continuing education program for Atlantic journeypersons to advance their business and leadership skills and to gain regional career mobility. The seal can prepare you to take over a managerial role at your company or to start your own business. If you are already a business owner, the program can help you develop the skills you need to take your business to the next level.”