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N.L. pilot initiative to offer online training for some apprentices

Colin Farrell Photo<br />Kelly Baker (right) uses a plasma cutter to cut out the shape of Santa’s sleigh from a piece of metal as her mother Kim looks on.
The welding program at College of the North Atlantic is one of five programs in the province where apprentices will soon be able to train online while they continue to work. - File photo

ST. JOHN’S, NL – A new online training pilot initiative for apprentices will allow them to stay in their home communities and work while completing their block training requirements.

Premier Dwight Ball and Advanced Education, Skills and Labour Minister Al Hawkins announced the initiative on Thursday.

The cost of the pilot is $903,000, according to a new release, and five trades have been selected.

Four of them are through College of the North Atlantic (CNA) – the plumber, construction electrician, welder, and carpenter programs. The other is the automotive service technician program offered by Academy Canada.

“This initiative will remove barriers and maximize access to training as for the first time in Newfoundland and Labrador, apprentices will have the option to train online while continuing to work,” Ball said.

The initial phase of the pilot focuses on transferring in-class curriculum to an online learning platform.

The platform will be very interactive, the release states, including regular interaction with instructors and classmates as well as the use of simulation software.

Online training in each of the five trades will be available during the next training year. In-class training is still an option.

“The model of advanced apprenticeship training has to be flexible to fit the times and environments in which we work,” David Harris, chair of the Provincial Apprenticeship and Certification Board, said.

“Taking advantage of technological resources and tools, like on-line learning, will go a long way in meeting the needs of industry and apprentices.”

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