Nova Scotians working in the growing field of automotive glass now have the opportunity to gain certification through a new exam. While certification in the trade is voluntary, it helps define the occupation, improve safety, increase the professionalism the industry and attract new people. It also emphasizes the work as a skilled trade. Consumers will now be able to look for this certification to ensure windshield-related safety and structural elements of their vehicle are being handled by someone with recognized expertise and proficiency. The fee for taking the exam will be reduced for the first 12 months from $666.45 to $133.29. “We are committed to supporting and developing a highly skilled workforce and we are taking steps to make it easier for Nova Scotia’s tradespeople to become certified,” said Marilyn More, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. “I encourage all skilled tradespeople working in the automotive glass industry to write this exam. “Certification opens doors for individuals already in the trade and helps introduce new people to the industry.” Tradespeople who have at least 8,000 hours of hands-on experience may be eligible to write the exam. They will have to produce references from two individuals in the trade who can speak to their ability. In 2008, the Provincial Apprenticeship Board received an application from the Nova Scotia Automotive Human Resource Sector Council to designate the automotive glass occupation as a trade. The application was based on a study of auto glass shops in the province, focus groups and detailed consultations. The automotive glass industry was designated as a trade on March 31, 2009. “With changing vehicle technology and processes, increasing demand for service, and a proactive human resource strategy, the automotive glass industry is growing and certification is the next logical step,” said Shannon Smith, executive director, Automotive Human Resource Sector Council of Nova Scotia. ” It will help professionalize the industry through enhanced training and performance standards, improve safety for the public and create a career pathway for new apprentices.” Nova Scotia is the fourth province, after Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, to recognize this trade. The regular fee of $666.45 will be reinstated on Feb. 16, 2012. To apply for the certification exam call apprenticeship training at 902-424-5651 in Halifax or toll-free at 1-800-494-5651.