South Shore Breaker

Gearing up, together

Looking at the road ahead with the Automotive Sector Council of Nova Scotia

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“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.

 ?? ?? (From left to right) RPL Project Manager Judith Dickson, Operations Manager Nikki Barnett, Executive Director Shannon Trites and Manager of Youth & Industry Engagement Shannon Hall. PHOTO CREDIT: Contribute­d
(From left to right) RPL Project Manager Judith Dickson, Operations Manager Nikki Barnett, Executive Director Shannon Trites and Manager of Youth & Industry Engagement Shannon Hall. PHOTO CREDIT: Contribute­d
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