Nova Scotians who have substantial experience working in the alarm and security trade will now have the option to gain recognition for those skills through a certification process. The Department of Labour and Workforce Development in partnership with industry and the Canadian Security Association, introduced a new provincial certificate of qualification examination, today, June 13. Tradespeople who have 9,000 hours or 4.5 years of hands-on experience working in the trade can write the certification exam without completing a full apprenticeship program. “We are taking steps to make it easier for Nova Scotia’s tradespeople to become certified,” Mark Parent, Minister of Labour and Workforce Development. “I encourage all skilled tradespeople working in the alarm and security industry to write this exam. The more certified journeypersons we have in this province, the more apprentices we can train.” To qualify, tradespeople will have to produce references from two individuals in the trade. “The alarm and security technician exam is a critical step toward raising the standard for the installation of electronic security systems in Nova Scotia,” said Dan Small, chair of the Canadian Security Association’s government relations committee in Nova Scotia. “These highly skilled certified journeypersons will help build a skilled workforce to meet Nova Scotia’s growing security needs.” The cost associated with applying for and writing the alarm and security technician exam will be reduced for the first 18 months at a fee of $130.97. The regular fee of $654.86 will be reinstated on November 30, 2009.
Nova Scotians are getting better value for their tax dollars as the province improves the quality of how it procures fleet and transportation, information technology devices and office supplies. An ongoing review of spending and purchases across government departments, Nova Scotia school boards and the Nova Scotia Housing Development Corporation identified potential savings of up to $11 million for the 2013-14 fiscal year. “Nova Scotians expect government to make smart, efficient purchases, to save money where possible, while improving the quality of goods and services for Nova Scotia families,” said Deputy Premier Frank Corbett. “A better and improved procurement process will support Nova Scotia’s business community and encourage sustainable economic development.” The province has identified savings in how it buys vehicles, heavy equipment, parts, bulk fuel, office supplies and information technology. Requests for proposals will be issued this month in the following business areas, which will bring significant savings: printers office supplies laptops and desktops IT contingent labour heavy and light duty vehicles heavy equipment parts bulk fuel a new fleet-card management tool will be used to record accurate spending and create fuel and maintenance discounts “We are excited to be working with the province to create savings and efficiencies for our purchases, which will have a lasting impact on our operations,” says Ambrose White, superintendent for the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. “The savings we experience through this process will go directly toward students and programs, and help to improve the quality of goods and services we deliver.” These savings are being identified through the Strategic Procurement Project, which should bring more savings across government and the public sector when complete in February 2013.The province spends about $1 billion annually on goods and services. Regional models will become part of procurement to ensure all companies across Nova Scotia can compete for government business. This project is the latest of a number of strategies by government to live within its means. Others include ending excessive end-of-year spending, holding the line on overall spending, reducing debt-servicing costs, shared services and implementing the change and innovation fund. For more information about these business areas and to see the request for proposals, visit http://business.novascotia.ca/en/home/default.aspx or www.gov.ns.ca/tenders/home.aspx.