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Twenty-one certified in first Nova Scotia pilot of the Residential Construction Site Manager Level 1 program
March 30, 2017

A joint initiative of the AHBRSC and the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education (RPL & Labour Mobility, and WIPSI). In partnership with Professional Home Builders Institute (PHBI) of Alberta, AHBRSC has delivered the first pilot of the Residential Construction Site Manager (RCSM) Level 1 training and certification program for Nova Scotia (see our previous newsletter). Twenty-one individuals, from eleven well-known residential construction companies completed the 20-week online training and received their Level 1 certification from PHBI. Read More >> 


Take Your Career to the Next Level. Take the Residential Construction Site Manager Program – Level 1
April 28, 2016 

Last year, AHBRSC consulted with 75 home builders, renovators and developers employing more than 1200 tradespeople and contractors on new and more flexible training and certification options for carpentry programs in Nova Scotia. This research received strong support from participants and the broader residential construction industry. AHBRSC has been sharing the results of this research with the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA) in order that the resulting recommendations can be considered as the NSAA moves forward in its engagement with industry on proposed compulsory designation and specialization of the carpentry trade. Read more >>


Housing slump and falling oil prices impact labour market
May 29, 2015
After more than a decade of strong yearly growth, housing starts in Nova Scotia and across Canada reversed trend and declined in 2013. The slump continued in 2014 and is projected to continue throughout 2015. The swift drop in world oil prices has led to reduced drilling and exploration in the Canadian oil sands and a softening of the Alberta economy, resulting in lower hiring rates and lay-offs in that region and, in some cases, a reverse migration of workers back to the east coast.

What are the short-term and long-term implications for us?

The combined effect of reduced housing starts and lower oil prices has been an increase in the available supply of workers to support the residential construction sector, essentially reversing the labour market conditions that existed in 2012.

Where two years ago a homebuilder couldn’t find new crew and feared losing those they did have to the West, that same homebuilder is now challenged to keep their existing workers employed and is at risk of losing them due to lack of work.

While this current rebalancing of the labour market has made it easier to meet the residential construction sectors immediate labour force needs, we will still face critical labour market shortages in the medium and long term. A large proportion of our workforce is aging to retirement, and historically low numbers of young people are entering residential construction trades. The existing workers who are lost to other industries in the current downturn are, unfortunately, unlikely to return.

Finding and keeping a productive and skilled workforce has always been a significant management challenge for home builders and renovators, and will continue to be a challenge well into the future, no matter what factors are influencing the labour market in the short and near term.


Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency considers changes to carpentry trade
May 29, 2015

The Province’s new Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency was established to provide a more relevant, industry-driven trades training and certification system featuring improved access, participation and diversity. It also aims to have improved collaboration toward better trade harmonization and mobility throughout Canada. Of particular interest to our sector, the Agency has set up a Carpenter Trade Advisory Committee on the designation of carpentry as a compulsory trade, national harmonization, and the proposed specialization of carpentry into four streams: form work, framer, interior finish, and exterior finish. The Advisory Committee will be engaged in industry consultations on this trade specialization throughout 2015.


Sector Council to Develop New Multi-Year Action Plan
May 29, 2015
The Province of Nova Scotia has recently signaled its intention to renew the Sector Council Funding Program and has asked us to develop a new multi-year strategic action plan as the basis for a new agreement starting in 2016. To that end, we will be consulting with homebuilders, renovators and other stakeholders in the coming months to inform and guide the plan for human resource development in our sector for the next few years.

Want to be involved?

Please contact our Executive Director, Michael Montgomery, at or 902-240-1133.


Get involved in making our sector stronger
May 29, 2015

The Sector Council needs the experience and insight of builders, renovators, trade workers and educators to inform and guide our work. If you would like to get involved by participating in focus group discussions, piloting a work place initiative, sitting on a working group, or serving as a Board member, please contact our Executive Director, Michael Montgomery, at or 902-240-1133.


AHBRSC strengthens brand position with new identity and tagline
March 31, 2014

The Atlantic Home Building & Renovation Sector Council (AHBRSC) has adopted a new brand identity and tagline to better communicate the Council’s role in support of the region’s industry. AHBRSC Executive Director, Michael Montgomery, describes the new look as a great move forward for the organization, “Our new look is simple and hardworking with a four-part icon that represent trusses being raised, the upward mobility our industry sustained by a highly-skilled workforce and the regions that we serve.”


Mary Kenny, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships for the Sector Council, adds, “Our new tagline — Skilled workers. Quality homes. Better communities. — captures our belief that investing in our workforce leads to higher quality products and stronger communities in every sense of the word.”

The new branding will be rolled out on a suite of AHBRSC materials including a new website, stationery, presentation templates and report templates.


Council reports to NETAC at CHBA’s national conference
March 27, 2014

The sector council will present a report on it’s labour market development agenda for Nova Scotia to the National Education and Training Committee (NETAC) at the Canadian Home Builders Association’s 71st National Conference at Whistler British Columbia next week.

The report provides an opportunity to share with a national audience the sector council’s strategic action plan and highlight the councils efforts in labour market information tracking and reporting, occupational standards development and training and education programming development and delivery.


Industry supports proposed changes to N.S. Apprenticeship system
February 26, 2014

The AHBRSC participated in an industry briefing session today with Minister Kelly Regan and senior staff of the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education concerning proposed changes to the apprenticeship system in Nova Scotia. The proposed changes, outlined in a January 2014 discussion paper, include the establishment of a new industry-led and industry-driven apprenticeship agency.

AHBRSC Executive Director, Michael Montgomery noted that “our industry employs more than 20% of all Nova Scotia apprentices across more than a dozen construction trades. He described the proposed changes as “a rare and critical opportunity to enhance apprenticeship as a means for knowledge and skill transfer in the Nova Scotia economy” He cautioned however that, “it is critical that the residential construction sector be represented on the agency’s board of directors and the relevant trade committees.”


AHBRSC receives funding for NS carpentry training and certification needs assessment
December 5, 2013

The AHBRSC has recently confirmed project funding approval in the amount of $68,063 under the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education – Special Projects Program. The funding will be used to implement recommendations from the Council’s 2011 report Training and Certification Needs Assessment for the Carpentry Trade in Nova Scotia, to start the development of alternative and complementary methods of assessment for challengers to current training and apprenticeship credentials.

Mary Kenny becomes AHBRSC’s Director of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships
October 10, 2013

Michael Montgomery, Executive Director of the AHBRSC is pleased to announce that Mary Kenny has been appointed to the position of Director of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships. Mary is a well-known and respected leader in Canada’s labour market development for the residential construction industry. Most recently, she served as CEO of the Residential Construction Industry Training Organization (RCITO) in British Columbia.


AHBRSC receives key funding to implement multi-year strategic action plan
September 9, 2013

The AHBRSC is pleased to announce that it has been recently approved for $270,000 in funding from the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education’s Sector Council Program. The funding is to support the implementation of our Strategic Action Plan through to March 31, 2015.


NSHBA Career Fair to be held at Exhibition Park
April 25, 2012

The Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association Career Fair at Exhibition Park. For further information please contact the NSHBA at (902) 450-5554.


AHBRSC to participate in The Real Home Show, March 2-4 in Halifax
February 28, 2012

The sector council will be co-located with the Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association and Efficiency Nova Scotia this weekend, March 2-4, at the Halifax Forum. Stop by to learn more about the exciting career opportunities in home building and renovation. See you at the show!