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Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Greg Turner participates in the Try-a-Trade event at NBCC Moncton on April 26, 2024. Image: Tara Clow

Provincial rebrand looks to boost skilled trades interest

By Brad Perry Apr 29, 2024 | 5:12 AM

New Brunswick has unveiled a new brand in an effort to boost interest in skilled trades.

The province’s apprenticeship and occupational certification branch has been renamed Skilled Trades NB.

Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Greg Turner describes it as a “fresh look” and a “fresh appeal.”

“We’re going to move our province forward, but we’ve got to be attractive, we’ve got to be attractive to young people, and they’ve got to make sure we catch their attention,” Turner said in an interview on Friday.

“So it’s important, I think, that we have a fresh vision, a fresh look, and really rebranding, and sometimes that happens.”

The rebranding comes at a critical time for New Brunswick’s construction sector, which is expected to need around 10,000 more workers over the next 10 years.

Turner said it is a “lofty goal” and one that needs to be achieved if the province wants to continue to grow.

“It doesn’t matter how many jobs we create, or how many people we employ in health care, or how many people we attract to our province, which are a lot, we need a roof over their heads,” said the minister.

“Skilled trades are going to help us build the housing that is needed in this province so we can grow this province.”

Provincial officials said the new brand aims to raise the profile of the apprenticeship program among employers and potential participants and to build on the recent growth of the program.

New Brunswick has seen a 20 per cent increase in registered apprentices, a 77 per cent increase in the number of women apprentices, and a 68 per cent increase in the number of Indigenous apprentices since 2019-20.

“Today’s apprentices are tomorrow’s industry leaders. Careers in the skilled trades are incredibly rewarding and offer a sense of pride, knowing you are building this province from the ground up,” said Turner.

As the province works to increase the number of people working in skilled trades, the minister said it will be important for his government to build partnerships with post-secondary institutions and businesses within the construction sector.

Turner said it will also be important for the province to keep attracting more workers from elsewhere across the country and around the world.