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Preparing for Green Careers: There’s Something for Everyone!

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Memorial High School in North Sydney is known for their excellent Skilled Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program. Students have the opportunity to take classes in Carpentry, Electrical Construction, Heavy Duty Equipment Repair, Motor Vehicle Repair, Plumbing, and Welding. In November, I had a chance to speak with many of the trades classes at Memorial High.

Nova Scotia is moving toward cleaner energy sources and increased energy efficiency in both residential and commercial industries. Professions in many trades are affected by these changes so it is a great time to be starting out in this growing field! There are exciting new technologies emerging every day, and a variety of opportunities now awaits students learning trades. Residential and commercial carpenters will be asked to build more energy efficient homes and commercial buildings. Energy-smart buildings will regulate temperature efficiently, reduce water consumption and runoff, and the buildings will be held to a higher standard of efficiency. Plumbers will need the skills to install solar hot water heaters as households become increasingly energy-independent. In the near future, mechanics will be expected to repair electric vehicles. According to Bloomberg, experts anticipate one in every six cars sold worldwide in 2025 will be electric. Heavy duty mechanics will also need to be familiar with electric vehicles because electric transport trucks start hitting the road in 2019. Today, students even have new career options, like wind turbine technician, that were not available only a few years ago.

Changes to our energy sources and our technology are already having a big impact on the next generation of tradespeople in Nova Scotia. I’m excited to see how the students at Memorial High will integrate these changes into their classes and careers. Energy efficiency brings exciting new opportunities, and this school is ready to accept the challenge!

Check out these post-secondary programs for a sampling of careers in energy efficiency:

žDalhousie University: School for Resource and Environmental Studies
The Passive House Institute US (PHIUS): Certified Builder Training
Canada Green Building Council – (LEED) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design: Certifier Course
žNSCCž Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology
NSCC Environmental Engineering Technology
NSCC Natural Resources Environmental Technology
NSCC Refrigeration & Air Conditioning – Geothermal

Check out these energy-related scholarships:

Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Energy Scholarship
Nova Scotia Energy Training Program- wage subsidy

~Shandel Brown
Engagement Officer, Cape Breton

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