NAIT introduces four School of Skilled Trades diploma programs 

Published on March 30, 2021

NAIT has launched new trades-based diploma programs in plumbing, welding, automotive service and electrical installations technology, providing learners with an alternative pathway into a trades career. 

The two-year diploma programs offer students at any stage of their lives a direct pathway into the trades with the opportunity to secure employment and become an apprentice after completing their education. Todd Matsuba, associate dean in the School of Skilled Trades, says this will provide more opportunities for domestic and international students to pursue their careers directly out of high school. He adds that it will also make it easier for anyone looking to make a career change to pursue a trades profession. 

Through the traditional apprenticeship pathway, students must secure employment in their desired field and accrue the required field hours before attending their chosen program at an accredited apprenticeship provider. International students currently can’t access apprenticeship training in Alberta through traditional pathways; they must first complete an accredited program before entering an apprenticeship contract with an employer. 

The new diploma programs complement NAIT’s apprenticeship offerings, providing students with another choice in how they pursue a career in the skilled trades.

All four new programs teach learners the current technical skills needed for their careers and prepare them to write the apprenticeship exam required by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT).  

Upon successful completion of the diploma programs, graduates can enter into an apprenticeship with an employer and work towards their first-year apprenticeship status by completing the AIT-required field hours.  Those wishing to further their education may do so with one of NAIT’s post-diploma programs such as the Bachelor of Technology degree or Data Analytics certificate. Alternatively, once students have obtained their Red Seal and spent three or more years in a management role, they can follow a personalized pathway into NAIT’s Bachelor of Business Administration. 

Applications are open for Advanced Plumbing Technology, Advanced Welding Technology, Automotive Service Technology and Electrical Installations Technology. 



 “The new trades-based diploma programs present exciting opportunities for more learners to build their technical and professional skills within the classroom environment. Students from all walks of life – such as recently graduated high school students, mature learners looking to change careers, and international students – can take advantage of the opportunities provided through these programs to transition into their apprenticeship or careers with confidence.” - Todd Matsuba, Associate Dean, School of Skilled Trades, NAIT 

"We’re thrilled to be offering 4 new diploma programs that provide alternative pathways into the skilled trades. These new programs will equip students with the technical and professional skills employers are looking for, while providing opportunities to enter into apprenticeship after completing their studies.” - Sue Fitzsimmons, Vice-President Academic and Provost, NAIT  

About NAIT

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and skilled trades. With more than 38,000 credit and non-credit students and a 98 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads help fuel the economic engine of the province. NAIT also contributes to Alberta's prosperity by helping businesses and communities become more competitive through industry-driven applied research and corporate training. Recognized as one of Alberta's top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, industry partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.

Media inquiries

Nicole Graham
NAIT Media Relations
C 780.916.8307 E

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