Apprenticeship programs at the Department of National Defence

The Department of National Defence (DND) offers apprenticeship programs to teach aspiring trades people the required skills to develop a rewarding career in: welding, carpentry, painting, plumbing, electrical work, vehicle mechanics, Heating Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC), masonry and more!

Learn more about apprenticeships at DND:

Apprenticeship at Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott, Halifax

The apprenticeship program at the Fleet Maintenance Facility in Cape Scott, Halifax (FMF CS) is designed to teach applicants the required skills to start a career in ship maintenance and repair. Apprentices and journeypersons at FMF CS maintain and repair naval systems from ship propulsion, to navigation, to armament.

The Apprenticeship Program at FMF CS is used to sustain the high standards of workmanship offered to the naval fleet. We hire apprentices in trades such as Naval Mechanical (Millwright) Technician, Marine Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic, Marine/Industrial Electrician, Electronics Technician, Machinist, Boiler and Plate Technician, Sheet Metal Technician, Welder and Marine Pipefitter/Coppersmith. Those who have already graduated, or are set to graduate from a trades-related program may also apply.

Most programs consist of a three-year apprenticeship, with the exception of the Electronics Technician trade which is a two-year program. At the end of their program, apprentices are required to pass an FMF CS Trades Test to become a SR Journeyperson.

FMF CS also supports the provincial apprenticeship program through wage top up while on block training and tuition reimbursement upon successful completion. Apprenticeship opportunities are posted on site in January/February of each year. Applications for the apprenticeship positions are taken in late March. Normally apprentices will begin work with the Department in early August.

There are further training and development opportunities which prepare FMF CS tradespersons for other roles within the organization. For example, a tradesperson could advance to Planning & Estimating, Engineering Technology, or Supervisory and Management positions, where there is interest.

Apprenticeship at Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton, Esquimalt

Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton (FMF CB) has maintained an apprenticeship training program since 1927 to sustain high standards of workmanship among its trades people. The Apprenticing Program trains workers to a high level of certification. Upon successful completion, apprentices are entitled to the FMF CB Certificate of Apprenticeship, the Provincial Journeyperson's Certificate, and Inter-Provincial Certification (where applicable).

The prerequisite for all apprenticeships is grade 12 graduation or a PSC approved equivalent. Apprenticeships in electronics also require an electronic technician pre-apprenticeship certificate; a diploma in a two-year electronic technology program is also acceptable. Pre-apprenticeship training in some trades is mandatory.

Apprenticeships are usually four years long,, beginning in the spring and fall of each year (with the exception of refrigeration mechanic, where the apprenticeship is five years).

We hire apprentices for the following trades:      

  • Electrician
  • Electroplater
  • Electronic Technician
  • Shipwright / Joiner
  • Lagger
  • Machinist
  • Millwright
  • Painter
  • Pipe Fitter
  • Rigger / Sailmaker
  • Refrigeration Mechanic
  • Steel Fabricator/ Boilermaker
  • Sailmaker
  • Sheet Metal Fabricator Welder

Trades apprenticeship positions are posted at the site for approximately three weeks before the processes are closed. Applicants should routinely check the PSC website for apprenticeship opportunities.

To apply:

  1. Complete the application form from the PSC either online or at Building 54 in Naden, Esquimalt.
  2. Include all certificates of education and high school transcripts.
  3. Include a resume that details your training and experience.
  4. Submit the completed application either online, to the PSC or to the Human Resources staff at Building 54, Naden, Esquimalt.

Student Apprenticeship Program

The Department of National Defence also offers a joint apprenticeship program involving the Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton and the Public Service Commission's Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP).  The program gives grade 10, 11 and 12 students a chance to obtain valuable trades skills in ship maintenance and repair, as well as experience working for the Canadian Federal Public Service.

High School Students work for DND as apprentice trainees over the summer holidays and spring breaks to build a career in naval repair work. Apprentices are also paid a competitive wage while they learn about the trade.

The Secondary School Student Apprenticeship Program gives students an opportunity to build on knowledge from school using their natural mechanical aptitude. We want the experience to be both challenging and fulfilling for participants. Our goal is to lead students to a career with a future. If participants are successful in the program, they are automatically registered as regular apprentices. Further, all the hours Students Apprentices work while in the program will count toward their formal Apprenticeship, resulting in a decreased Apprenticeship completion time.

To become eligible for FSWEP opportunities, students must apply to the current FSWEP campaign. To apply for the Student Apprenticeship Program, you must first ask you high school career counsellor for a list of current apprenticeship opportunities, and their skills codes. .You will then enter the skill code for the position you would like to be considered for in section F of your FSWEP application. If your counsellor does not have the skills codes, contact FMF CB Apprenticeship at (250) 363-1088.

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