South Shore Breaker
Gearing up, together
Looking at the road ahead with the Automotive Sector Council of Nova Scotia
“It’s about knowing that we are a STEM industry, dispelling the myth of the grease monkey, smashing the gender divide, and working to ensure everyone has a seat at the table, regardless of race, ethnicity and gender.”
The automotive industry in Nova Scotia needs a skilled, professional workforce. Partnering to guide it along the way is the Automotive Sector Council of Nova Scotia (ASC).
“The ASC understands the common challenges in the industry and works together with employers, employees, trainers, and educators to solve them,” says Shannon Trites, ASC Executive Director. “It’s about knowing that we are a STEM industry, dispelling the myth of the grease monkey, smashing the gender divide, and working to ensure everyone has a seat at the table, regardless of race, ethnicity and gender.”
ASC guides the industry towards the future and supports employers and employees in the automotive sector by developing interactive projects and resources in response to industry challenges. It also engages with the industry, connecting with industry leaders, automotive employers, community organizations, and educational institutions. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency, Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), and the Department of Labour Skills and Immigration are consistent partners in developing and implementing new projects.
“When you have a variety of ideas at the table, it helps to generate even more ideas on how to supply and sustain the industry for our workers,” says Shirley Mitchell, human resources manager at Coast Tire.
For those interested in working in the industry, the ASC recently launched a new training opportunity called Pathways to Success. It is an automotive entry level training program that works towards removing barriers to employment. The training is available at no cost to jobseekers, career changers, under-represented persons, and people wishing to progress in the automotive industry.
Developed in partnership with automotive industry leaders, employers, Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency, NSCC, and equity-seeking organizations, the program helps participants to qualify as Tire and Maintenance Technicians in a few short months.
The program includes both online and hands-on learning. Participants are taught a variety of skills such as hoisting and jacking cars, mounting and dismounting tires, oil and fluid maintenance, corrosion application, and shop etiquette. One of its goals is to prepare participants for a long career in the exciting industry.
For employers and anyone interested in working in the industry, ASC also offers the Motive Power Career Portal, which provides detailed insight and reports that guide potential employees to apply for jobs. For people already training in the industry as a journeyperson or apprentice, the portal assists with planning for important career steps and helps build a free career planning report.
The portal also helps candidates discover qualities about themselves that shine beyond resumes. It details how personality and interests match with certain jobs in the industry. Applicants can explore new opportunities for upgrading and training with positions that match their profile.
Employers post jobs at no cost in the portal, and they can sort through applicant resumes and streamline the hiring process. The portal also details pre-screening reports, interview guides, and a free automatic reference checker. Employers who use the portal will experience less employee turnover and have more confidence that the right candidate was hired and trained for the role within their company.
Meanwhile, ASC’S Testdrive Program is geared towards youth and offers Grade 10 and 11 students firsthand industry experience in multiple locations across Nova Scotia.
“The experience creates career awareness for students and starts them on a path to an apprenticeship,” says Trites.
Students can earn three co-op credits, 300 apprenticeship hours towards trade certification, training experience at NSCC, and a paid summer work placement. A financial incentive is also available for employers interested in hiring
students for summer jobs.
“We know accessing programs can feel overwhelming. The ASC is your trusted partner in guiding your child to a rewarding career,” says Trites. “We’re here to help you connect with help, support, resources, and funding to choose and pursue the right automotive career.”
“We have an incredible group of students across Nova Scotia that will be exploring the Motive Power trades this summer,” says Testdrive program manager Shannon Hall.
In the spring of 2023, ASC will begin certifying employees in a new entry-level occupation: Tire and Maintenance Technician.
Over the past 2 years, ASC have worked with a group of industry members and partners to develop the Recognizing Prior Learning (RPL) program. This approach uses pathways, competencies, tools, and resources to facilitate the assessment and recognition of the existing competencies of uncredentialed workers within or entering the automotive industry.
Meanwhile, the ASC is already looking to the industry’s future by highlighting electric vehicles through idev, an interactive demonstrative electric vehicle that showcases the inner workings of a Tesla Model 3. The demonstrations by All EV create career awareness for youth, educate consumers, and expose the industry to the new electric vehicle technology.
“The IDEV is exciting new
STEM technology showcasing the direction the Motive Power Industry is heading,” says Trites. “This knowledge and appreciation will be key for Nova Scotia businesses to understand measures for sustainability in the future.”
To learn more about
Automotive Sector Council of Nova Scotia resources, training opportunities and portals, visit Automotivesectorcouncil. ca. If you are interested in becoming a Testdrive employer and connecting with some of the amazing individuals in the program, email testdrive@ automotivesectorcouncil.ca.