The best trades and technology students in British Columbia were honoured today by more than 200 attendees at the 22nd annual Skills Canada BC gala in Vancouver.
Fifty-six students from secondary and post-secondary schools throughout B.C. went head to head with students from across Canada at the 2016 Skills Canada competition in Moncton, N.B., in June. Team BC brought home 28 medals – nine gold, eight silver and 11 bronze – in areas that included welding, carpentry, electronics, robotics, 3D animation and IT systems.
Team BC was recognized today by Greg Kyllo, Parliamentary Secretary for the B.C. Jobs Plan, on behalf of Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. Kyllo was joined by Skills Canada BC president Kelly Betts along with representatives from the BC Technology Industry Association, the New Car Dealers Association of BC, Kitimat LNG, LNG Canada and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Two Team BC competitors, Andrew Christensen (welding) and Judd Foster (electronics), will represent Canada at the WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in October 2017.
The Skills Canada national competition is the only Olympic-style, multi-trade and technology event of its kind for Canadian students and apprentices.
About 500 competitors from all provinces and territories were evaluated by independent judges from the respective industry sectors. Their decisions were based on industry standards and established work practices, using specific criteria such as quality of work, safety, cleanliness, skill level and creativity.
Shirley Bond, Minister Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour –
“We are expecting almost one million job openings in B.C. by 2025. The Skills Canada competitions serve to showcase our students’ skills and talent, while also raising awareness of the various careers available in our province. Congratulations to the participants being celebrated tonight and I wish our students continued success in the future.”
Greg Kyllo, Parliamentary Secretary for the BC Jobs Plan –
“The members of Team BC represent the extremely high level of excellence in skilled workers who are graduating from our province’s high school trades programs and post-secondary institutions. Their achievements on the national stage bode well, not only for their own career paths, but for our province’s future prosperity by raising awareness of the various skilled-trades careers available in our province. Congratulations to everyone on Team BC, and thank you to their parents and instructors, as well as Skills BC and our industry partners who support our students’ development.”
Kelly Betts, president, Skills Canada BC –
“Skills BC events give middle, secondary and post-secondary students an opportunity to showcase and strengthen their trades and technology skills through competitions at the regional, provincial and national levels. These events provide a forum for youth spectators to participate in hands-on exploration activities hosted collaboratively by educators and industry – learn to weld, operate a backhoe, join piping, lay bricks. Where can you find that and more under one roof? At a time when skills are needed more than ever, Skills BC brings together industry and educators to promote careers in trades and technology to youth through engaging and exciting events.”
Amber Papou, executive director, Skills Canada BC –
“2016 marked a record year for Skills Canada BC. Students from schools across the province shone at the National Skills Competition. These students showcased the impressive talent and skill sets that will be the foundation to a strong provincial workforce and economy.”
Tracey MacKinnon, workforce development manager, LNG Canada –
“We are a proud sponsor and supporter of Skills Canada BC, as we see the continued development of the trades workforce as essential to today’s construction sector and the future LNG industry in British Columbia. Congratulations to everyone who has benefited through the programs of Skills Canada BC.”
Adam Van Steinburg, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 213 –
“The IBEW is proud to be in the business of apprenticeship for the past 125 years. With important partnerships such as the one with Skills Canada BC, we can ensure that young people can seize the careers of the future.”
Rod Maier, vice-president policy, government and public affairs, Chevron Canada Resources –
“A skilled and abundant workforce in British Columbia will be critical to the success and competitiveness of the LNG industry in Canada. As co-venturers in the proposed Kitimat LNG project, Chevron and Woodside Petroleum are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Skills BC. Skills BC’s innovative approach encourages B.C.’s young people to consider careers in skilled and technology professions that will help position them for future careers in the LNG industry.”
Blair Qualey, president and CEO, New Car Dealers Association of BC –
“The New Car Dealers Association (NCDA) of BC recognizes and appreciates the important work that Skills BC is doing for our young people. The NCDA is working hand in hand with Skills BC to support the development of skills that are required for young people to secure positions upon graduation, and I’m looking forward to strengthening the workforce, especially within the auto industry, in the years to come.”
- Each year Skills Canada BC works with approximately 30,000 British Columbian students.
- Skills Canada BC was founded in 1994 as a charitable organization.
- Based on the 2025 Labour Market Outlook, British Columbia is expecting up to one million job openings in the next decade due to retirements and economic growth.
- Eight out of 10 of these jobs will require post-secondary education or training.
- The B.C. government invests more than $7.8 billion in education and training each year, from early learning programs for the youngest British Columbians all the way through to post-graduate education.
BC Jobs Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/
B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills
British Columbia 2025 Labour Market Outlook: https://www.workbc.ca/Statistics/Labour-Market.aspx
Skills Canada British Columbia: www.skillscanada.bc.ca
Skills/Compétences Canada: http://skillscompetencescanada.com/en/
A backgrounder follows with Team BC medal winners.