July 14, 2008

Two welders compete at the 14th Canadian Skills Competition at Calgary Stampede Park.


Two welders compete at the 14th Canadian Skills Competition at Calgary Stampede Park.

Youth strut their stuff at 14th Canadian Skills Competition

Canadian students and apprentices competed in Canada’s largest national trade competition in Calgary for a chance to qualify for the 2009 WorldSkills Competition.

The 14th Canadian Skills Competition was held at Calgary Stampede Park.

It is Canada’s largest national multi-trade and technology competition for Canadian students and apprentices. Every year, the Olympic-style event brings together young people from all regions of Canada, along with their parents and advisors, to compete in more than 40 trade and technology areas.

“The Canadian Skills Competition shows the kids that a skilled trade is a good opportunity for them, instead of going to university,” said Cynthia Faubert, communications and marketing officer at Skills/Compétences Canada (S/CC).

“Working with your hands is good and you don’t have to go to university to make good money. This year we had more than 500 competitors and there were more than 150 in the construction events,”

The construction competitors were in involved in 12 events, including plumbing, welding, electrical wiring, brick masonry, cabinet making, carpentry and architectural CADD. There were competitions for students in both secondary and post-secondary school.

This years competition was particularly significant because it is the main step in qualifying for Team Canada at the 2009 WorldSkills Competition.

“Since the next WorldSkills Competition will take place in Calgary as well, it was a practice year to see how all the installations work,” said Faubert.

“The kids who competed will have the same tools at the world event as they did at the national event.”

Once on team Canada, students and apprentices are assigned a trainer, who is usually their current teacher, but could be a technical committee member.

“The quality of work by the contestants should be much better at the world event, because they will have about a year and a half to practice,” she said.

“Some of the contestants who have finished their apprenticeship will train for this event to make sure they are up for the challenge.”

WorldSkills competitors, aged 17 to 22, are drawn from national skills competitions that are held in 49 member countries/regions.

The next WorldSkills Competition is Sept. 1 to Sept. 6, 2009 in Calgary.

“We’re proud to host an event of this caliber in Alberta,” said Premier Ed Stelmach.

“It provides an international stage for profiling Alberta’s best - our skilled and talented citizens, high quality education system, our top-notch trades and technology industry.”

The provincial government announced that it would provide $24 million to support the event, which is expected to attract more than 1,000 international competitors, 5,000 international experts, delegates and judges, and about 150,000 students and public spectators from across Canada and other participating countries and regions.

S/CC is a national not-for-profit organization that helps in encouraging Canadian youth to choose careers in skilled trades and technology.

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