“The provincial skills competitions, held in February, March, and April, raise awareness of the tremendous careers in trades and technology,” says Tawna MacLeod, Executive Director of Skills Canada PEI.
“Last year, there were 320 competitors, and 110 medals were awarded at the Provincial Skills Competitions,” says Tawna. “PEI had 45 students on the national team. Seven earned medals and two are WorldSkills contenders. Those are incredible numbers for our small province.”
There are 40 competitions in 31 categories, and are open to Island high school, post-secondary students and apprentices. Winners go on to the National Competition, which will be held in Halifax this year.
“The Skills Canada National Competition is the only national, Olympic-style, multi-trade and technology competition for young students and apprentices in the country.
“The event brings together approximately 550 young people from all regions of Canada, along with their parents and advisors, to compete in over 40 trade and technology areas. Students strive to win the honor of being crowned the best in their chosen discipline.”
Every two years, Canada sends some national level winners to represent Team Canada at the WorldSkills Competition, which brings together youth aged 17 to 22 from over 50 different countries. “This year the competitions are in Russia in August, and we can’t wait to get there.”
Competitions are highly valued by employers
“The competition gives companies, industries, and other professionals a chance to meet and recruit skilled people who have demonstrated that they are at the top of their game. Many teachers and post-secondary learning managers get calls from employers who ask about the students who were in the competitions.”
Getting youth thinking about skilled trades and technology as a viable career option
“We celebrate academics and sports, and we need to celebrate trades and technology skills too,” says Tawna. “These seriously talented students are heading into extremely valued careers where they can make a great living.
“There are so many career choices people may not be aware of, such as robotics, mechatronics, TV/video production, 2D animation, industrial control, and the list goes on. Careers in trades and technology are for students who like physics, math, and English.
“The highlight of our year is the skills competition, where students and young apprentices compete in separate trades-related categories,” says Sue LeFort, President, Skills Canada PEI, Inc.
“The competitions are a great way to explore the trades, meet leaders in the industry, and test the waters to see if you are suited for a career in these areas.”
For the complete schedule of the 2019 Provincial Skills Competitions across the Island, visit www.skillscanada.pe.ca.
For more information, contact Tawna MacLeod at 902-566-9352, [email protected].