Glass Trade Designation Industry Study

In May 2007, the NS Automotive Sector Council announced an initiative to measure industry’s level of interest to designate the Automotive Glass Technician as a voluntary certified trade under the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Trades and Qualification Act.

The following is an collection of background, research 
and Industry findings on this important Industry workforce development strategy.

Industry Background

Based on Industry’s response from the 2005 Collision Repair Industry’s initiative to re-designate the Motor Vehicle Body Repairer from voluntary to compulsory certified, automotive glass owners and operators voiced their desire to also raise the training and skills standards for the Automotive Glass Repair sector.

In the 2005 research report, 69% of collision repair owners/operators and employees were in supported the movement of the Automotive Glass industry to designate the Automotive Glass Technician trade.

To date, the Automotive Glass Technician is not recognized as a professional trade under the NS Apprenticeship Trades and Qualifcation Act, governed by the Province’s Apprenticeship Board.

The Automotive Glass Technician could be the fifth automotive occupation to be designated in the Province of Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia would also be the fourth province to recognize the occupation within the Apprenticeship system.

The Industry

Nova Scotia’s Automotive Glass Industry consists of approximately 59 independent, franchise and corporate facilities.

The Industry Committee

An Industry Advisory Committee oversees this important industry development and consists of interested business leaders from independent, franchise and corporate repair facilities. The Committee’s purpose is to guide and direct the Sector Council, to oversee the research development, communication forums, and to validate the information derived from Industry’s input provided through surveys, regional consultations, and dialogue.

For a complete list of the Industry Advisory Committee, click here.

Research Process

Industry research consisted of a multitude of forums to engage business owners /operators and encourage them to participate in the study. Over the past year, the following initiatives have been completed.

  1. A formal survey was mailed, faxed and followed up with a personal phone call;
  2. Regional meetings were held in Pictou, Yarmouth, Kentville and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia;
  3. Personal interviews were held with owners/operators for those who were unable to participate in the regional meetings;
  4. Editorials were published in the Automotive People newsletter and AutoAtlantic Trade Magazine, communicating that research was underway and to encourage participation;

The collection of data, analyzed and presented by Praxis Research and Consulting, an independent research firm, was validated by the Industry Committee in February 2008.

Highlights of Industry Findings

Industry Participation: 28 of 52 employers.

For the complete version of the report, click on the 2008 Final Report at the top of the page.

  • 23/28 respondents (82%) support trade designation, while four employers opposed, and one did not complete the question.
  • It is very clear, that industry’s desire is to improve safety for the motoring public, professionalize the industry through enhanced training and performance standards, and create a career pathway for new apprentices.
  • There was a fairly equal balance between whether the occupation should be voluntary designated or compulsory certified.
    • 9 favored compulsory certification
    • 15 favored voluntary designation
    • 4 no response.
  • 23/28 respondents (82%) believe the trade should be an Independent trade from Motor Vehicle Body Repairer (Body and Paint)
    • 1 favored subtrade, 4 no response
  • Concerns of moving towards trade certification included costs, travel and time for employees to acquire potential skills upgrading to achieve Industry certification.
  • Strong endorsement for Distance Education (i.e. cd-rom, web based training and hard copy.)
  • Training should include:
    • Local community classroom training. (13 / 28 support classroom format)
    • Training between January and March
    • Weeknights and weekends.
  • All four regional meetings had the consensus to move towards voluntary trade designation.
    1. Concerns from meetings included the possible impact and benefits for different types of firms, in particular for independents.
    2. Getting older workers into training.

Research Recommendations

  1. Move forward with formal application to Apprenticeship Board for voluntary trade designation.
  2. More research is required to identified the demographics, opinions and impact on the labour force.
  3. NS Automotive Sector Council and Industry Advisory Committee proceed with the design and development of training program.
  4. Continuing communications efforts to build industry buy-in and engage more employers in the process.
  5. If Trade Designation is approved by the Province, employers should form an Industry Certification and Standards Committee (ICSC).
  6. Continue working relations with the Apprenticeship Training and Skill Development Division.

Next Steps

The Automotive Glass Industry Advisory Committee will submit an application to the Apprenticeship Board in 2008 to request the Automotive Glass Technician be recognized as a designated, voluntary certified trade in Nova Scotia.

The Committee will continue working with the NS Apprenticeship Training  and Skill Development Division to plan and develop a set of Industry training standards and certification program.

Project Documents

Click on the following links to access Industry communication documents