The territorial government has updated its Apprenticeship and Certification Act to include a skilled trades worker certificate and the ability to attain journeyperson certification without having to write an exam.

These measures are being introduced “to deal with the fact that, historically, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut have not done everything they could do to facilitate our Inuit tradespeople in achieving formal certification,” Robert Clift, director of career development with the Department of Family Services, said in the legislative assembly on June 7.

Other features of the updated act include added flexibility to assess on-the-job training, including the ability to accumulate apprenticeship hours with different employers; the introduction of mandatory certification trades to enhance public safety, such as oil heat systems technician; making ad-hoc advisory committees possible to expand the composition and role of the apprenticeship and certification board.

The apprenticeship and certification board will have the ability to gauge the skills of an experienced and knowledgeable tradespersons who were unable to pursue formal training and examination by taking into account an exam applied by other certified tradespeople who can provide oaths on behalf of these individuals, Clift explained.

“The board will then appoint an examiner to review that evidence and may collect additional evidence and make a recommendation to the board,” he said, adding that candidates will have the choice of speaking in Inuktitut. “Again, as I said, historically we’ve not done the best job in supporting our Inuit tradespeople and that’s what we’re trying to resolve here.”

The legislation is expected to be enacted as of January 2023.

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