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Boat Builder and Marine Service Technician Apprenticeship Programs

nsba nova scotia

The Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association (NSBA) was established in 1998 by a small group of leading boatbuilders who shared a common vision of growing and diversifying this maritime industry beyond its original domestic fishing boat market. From a modest beginning, the association’s membership has grown to include 35 boatbuilders and 41 companies supplying products and services to the industry.

NSBA members design, build, and provide materials and equipment for a diverse range of semi-custom and custom boats, from 8′ to 80′ in length, for commercial and recreational use. All boats are built to Transport Canada or equivalent standards by a skilled workforce.

The Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association, in partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education – Apprenticeship Training Division (ATD) and the New Zealand Marine Industry Training Organisation (NZMITO), coordinates and delivers a comprehensive Boat Builder Apprenticeship Program (BBAP) to help ensure the development of a competent workforce trained to international boatbuilding standards.

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Training Programs


  • Boat Builder Apprenticeship Program (BBAP - 3 to 5 Year Apprenticeship): The Nova Scotia Boat Builder Apprenticeship Program (BBAP) is an on-the-job apprentice program that is cooperatively organized by the Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association (NSBA) and the NS Department of Labour and Advanced Education - Apprenticeship Training Division (ATD). The NS BBAP consists of three pathways: Advanced Fibre Composites, Metal and Wood. Apprentices, paired with experienced tradespeople who have undergone certification as a Boat Builder with the province, earn course credits while performing job-related skills and completing workbooks. The program involves the use of a logbook to record evidence of competencies which are assessed by the Industry Training Coordinator (ITC) for the NSBA and the ATD. Each program spans 3 to 5 years of on the job experience and completing workbooks.
  • Marine Service Technician Apprenticeship Program: Marine Service Technicians (MST) service, repair, refit and upgrade commercial and pleasure boats, power and sail. Marine Service Technician” is a designated Trade in Nova Scotia. MST apprentices take Marine Service Technician Orientation Course which includes a 4 week course plus site visits. On successful course completion, the participants earns the student credit towards the Marine Service Technician Apprenticeship program and also receive Certificate of Completion from NSBA, endorsed by ABYC. Once you have completed the program have the requisite experience (You have to have at least 10,800 hours of MST-related work experience, or approximately 6 years over the past 10 years), you can participate for MST Trade Qualification by applying to the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA) to take the MST Certification exam.
  • ABYC Certification Programs: NSBA conducts and facilitates ABYC certification programs and exams from time to time for the Nova Scotia boat industry. Please watch this page.

Last udated: Dec 10, 2018

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