SHELDON PATTERSON IS already an over achiever. The 21-year-old from Local 73 (Halifax, Nova Scotia) became the first New Brunswick Teen Apprentice Program (NBTAP) graduate to earn a Red Seal Certification (a skills accreditation for construction industry workers). He’s also the youngest person in recent years to become a Red Seal Boilermaker.
NBTAP works with New Brunswick employers to give high school students a head start on the path to a skilled trades career. The program is an industry-led, pre-apprentice program for students starting in grades 10 or 11. Employers coach and mentor selected students, and students learn practical trade and workplace skills.
Patterson began his NBTAP pre-apprenticeship with Jacobs Industrial Services at the Irving Oil Refinery during the summer of 2012 as one of six original students in the first NBTAP cohort. He worked for three summers as a high school student apprentice. In 2014, Local 73 accepted Patterson as an apprentice after he graduated from high school. He apprenticed at Jacobs Industrial over the next four years while completing his apprenticeship training with Local 73.
“Sheldon is a natural,” says Local 73 BM-ST David Noel. “He’s a hard worker, a skilled Boilermaker, and we’re proud to call him one of our own.”
Patterson credits the teen apprenticeship program for opening the door to the trade and to his becoming a Boilermaker.
“I love what I do,” he says. “I love working at the Irving Oil Refinery. I’m grateful to NBTAP, Jacobs, and the Boilermakers for the opportunities they’ve given me.”