NWT launches Blue Seal program to encourage trades education

Last modified: August 30, 2021 at 1:04pm

Northwest Territories residents with a journeyperson or recognized trade certificate can now apply for a Blue Seal program to develop their business skills. 

The territorial government announced the new Achievement in Business Competencies (Blue Seal) program on Monday, saying it would encourage continued learning and entrepreneurship. The program took effect on Friday.  

“The launch of the Blue Seal program will increase opportunities for Northwest Territories residents to advance in their careers in the trades. This certification will recognize the professionalism and transferable business skills of our tradespeople,” said employment minister RJ Simpson in a statement.


The Blue Seal program was established by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training to encourage and recognize business training in the trades. 

To obtain a Blue Seal certificate, those eligible must complete at least 150 hours of study approved by the NWT Apprenticeship, Trade and Occupation Certification program or supplied by a recognized training provider. 

Eligible subject areas for that study include accounting, marketing, public administration, communications, and human resource management. 

The announcement follows amendments to the territory’s Apprenticeship, Trades and Occupational Certification Act to increase the minister’s authority to issue certificates not previously available in the NWT. 

The territorial government has also pledged to increase the number of women in the trades, including an upcoming workshop for girls in Yellowknife, Ndilǫ, Dettah, and Behchokǫ̀. Currently, less than five percent of all apprentices in the NWT are female.