A new group of students will be picking up hammers, nails and drills this year as Construction Trades 11 launches in six schools across the province. The course builds on the material taught in Skilled Trades 10 with students expected to construct four full-sized motel rooms by semesters’ end. “Construction Trades 11 gives teens the opportunity to work in a hands-on environment and develop the skills necessary to begin a career in the trades,” said Minister of Education Marilyn More. “It’s an excellent example of how we can help prepare and encourage more young people to stay, work and build a life here in Nova Scotia.” During the 110 classroom hours, students explore six different facets of trades: carpentry, plumbing, construction electrical work, lathering, painting and decorating and floor covering installation, and the roles and responsibilities of each job. The course curriculum is centred on a process that allots time for classroom instruction and applying what is learned, and time for students to present that knowledge. This allows students to develop the necessary hands-on, oral and written skills to join a construction trades workplace. “At the department, we worked closely with trades people to develop a course that fits the school curriculum, in terms workplace preparedness, and that also allowed for all students to explore the trades as a viable career option,” said John Drish, co-ordinator of trades integration for the Department of Education. Because students are developing specialized workplace skills, the departments of Education and Labour and Workforce Development have signed a memorandum of understanding allowing students who participate in skilled trades courses taught by a recognized Red Seal journeyperson to count classroom hours toward their apprenticeship. “The memorandum of understanding provides trades students with a head start,” said Ms. More, who is also Minister of Labour and Workforce Development. “The special agreement to have academic hours count toward apprenticeship encourages students to begin their successful careers right here in Nova Scotia.” Construction Trades 11 is an academic high school course open to all Nova Scotian students who have successfully completed Skilled Trades 10.