Summer 2014 e-newsletter

In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Skills/Compétences Canada News
Industry News and Stories
Interesting People in the Trade and Technology Sectors

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"Our government is proud to support the Skills Canada National Competition, which is an exceptional showcase for talented young competitors and will inspire other young people to explore careers in the skilled trades and technology sectors."


-The Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development

Message from the CEO

It's a wrap for the 20th Skills Canada National Competition, which welcomed over 60 visiting schools from the GTA area and beyond, as well as hundreds of representatives from industry, education and government who are committed to promoting skilled trade and technology careers.


500 of Canada's best skilled trade and technology students and apprentices competed in 43 contest areas in hopes of qualifying for a chance to form Team Canada traveling to the WordSkills Competition in Brazil in 2015.


We are very grateful that the Hon. Jason Kenney, Canadian Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada, attended and applauded the efforts of the competitors and the many partners responsible for helping promote skilled trade and technology careers to Canada's youth.


Thank you to everyone who helped make SCNC 2014 a success. We look forward to seeing you in Saskatoon for SCNC 2015!

Shaun Thorson
Chief Executive Officer, Skills/Comp�tences Canada

SCC In the News 


16 new media partners in 2014


For SCNC 2014, Skills/Comp�tences Canada leveraged multiple media platforms to enable maximum targeted reach.


Through its diversified marketing strategies, Skills/Comp�tences Canada was able to reach its target audiences through a combination of earned media, social media and advertising tactics.


New in 2014, Skills/Comp�tences Canada partnered with 16 distinct media publications. As a result, SCC was able to secure numerous complimentary advertising spaces in print and electronic formats to promote SCNC 2014--valued in the tens of thousands of dollars. These media partners were also onsite to cover SCNC from an editorial standpoint. Their reporting resulted in comprehensive video, print, electronic and social media coverage of SCNC 2014. 


Sample some of the earned media from our media partners, including videos.


Upcoming Events

National Skilled Trades and Technology Week (NSTTW) 
November 3-9, 2014


Mark your calendar! Skills/Comp�tences Canada (SCC) and its Member Organizations will be hosting events to raise awareness of skilled trades and technology careers to parents, youth and educators.  


This is an opportunity for all types of organizations across Canada, from businesses to educational institutions, to get involved in promoting skilled trades and technology opportunities to youth in a "hands-on" way.


SCC will be hosting an official launch for NSTTW in Ottawa. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting event!


To obtain more information about activities happening in your region, please contact your SCC provincial/territorial office.


If you are interested in partnering with us for NSTTW 2014, please contact Gail Vent at   



The 2015 Skills Canada National Competition

The countdown is on for next year's Skills Canada National Competition, which will take place May 27-30, 2015
at the Prairieland Park in beautiful Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.


We welcome everyone to join us in Saskatchewan, a province where jobs are plentiful and skilled labour demands are high!


Plan your trip by visiting and stay tuned for more information on the Competition by checking out often.


Be a part of the action in 2015 and connect with tomorrow's labour force! Sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Gail Vent at   


WorldSkills S�o Paulo 2015  


The Largest Skills Competition, Jobs and Careers Event in The World


The next WorldSkills Competition will    be held in São Paulo, Brazil, from
August 11-16, 2015, at the Anhembi Park - one of the largest conference centres in Latin America. This is the first time that the WorldSkills Competition will be held in Latin America.  




More than 1,000 Competitors, 1,000 Experts, 3,000 volunteers and over 200,000 visitors will be participating in this exciting event. At WorldSkills São Paulo 2015, the world's most skilled young people will be competing in over 50 disciplines.  


For more information, visit 


Learn more about the new Team Canada Selection Process
Skills Canada News

Highlights of SCNC 2014

SCNC 2014 Awards


Several awards were presented at the closing ceremony including the Contest Safety Award, the SCC Achievement Award and the SCNC Team Spirit Award.


The Contest Safety Award is presented to the contest area that is evaluated by our National Safety Committee as being the best at administrating all aspects of safety including prevention and emergency preparedness.


Winner: trade #24 Cabinetmaking.

Honorable mention: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning; Heavy Equipment Service.


The SCC Achievement Award is given to the National Technical Committee or other volunteers who go above and beyond to ensure that the Skills Canada National Competition 2014 is a success.


Winners: Computer Support Committee: Randy James, Greg Link, Mark Walle and Matthew Carter.


The SCNC Team Spirit Award is awarded to the Provincial/Territorial Team that not only demonstrates the highest level of enthusiasm, devotion and pride throughout the Competition but also to the team that is most active on Skills/Comp�tences Canada's social media channels.



ES Video Contest Winners Spend a Day on Set with Mike Holmes!


Skills/Comp�tences Canada launched a video contest where students from the GTA were to submit a short video on the Essential Skills needed in trades and technology occupations.  


Three students from Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton C.S.S. School in Toronto were awarded a visit to the Skills Canada National Competition where they were filmed participating in all the hands on activities. 


The students were also given the opportunity to spend a day on set with Mike Holmes at the production of one of his Holmes Make it Right episodes. 



Congratulations Victoria, Christine and Nikita! 


Watch the winning submission

Watch the behind the scenes video

See photos of their day on set with Mike Holmes.

Canadian Youth Experience Culture and Education in China at the 2nd APEC Youth Skills Camp 


The 2nd APEC Youth Skills Camp was held from May 21 to 30, 2014, and included over 120 participants from 13 APEC economies. The goal of the program was to promote communication and cooperation on human resources development among APEC economies.  


The People's Republic of China invited 15 economies to participate in an eight-day program. The Government of Canada selected Skills/Comp�tences Canada (SCC) to bring four students to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity. The program included a youth forum, visits to vocational colleges, industries and training facilities. To read more.



Powerful Young Worker Memorial Makes Debut at SCNC 


The Canadian LifeQuilt is a unique and permanent memorial dedicated to the thousands of young women and men between the ages of 15 and 24, who have been killed and injured on the job. One hundred injured young workers are recognized on the centre panel (source:


"To best support the message of safety, I felt that all persons attending the SCNC should see the impact of not working safely," said Mary Wilson, Chair of the NTC Safety Committee. "The quilt turned out to be a traffic stopper and demonstrated the importance and impact of workplace safety." 


The Canadian LifeQuilt was on hand for the first time at SCNC 2014 thanks to Threads of Life, which coordinates and oversees the quilt.  




Seen here are Patti Penny, whose son, Luke, was killed at his workplace in 2010; and Shaun Thorson, SCC's CEO. 

What I learned at SCNC 2014 

By Jacob Gervais-Miguel


I am 17 years-old and this past June I attended my first Skills Canada National Competition as a volunteer.  


I had never heard of such an event before. My mom, who was working with Skills/Comp�tences Canada, tried explaining what it was. I was baffled by how people could compete in plumbing, landscaping and hair dressing. I had never given much thought to the trades. 


When I got there however, I saw that the people competing were kids around my age. They were all working so hard, took pride in what they did and looked like they were having so much fun. I wanted to jump in and join them. To read more

Industry News and Stories

Prince Charles Visits Holland College


Last May, Prince Charles visited Holland College's Prince of Wales Campus to meet with students and education leaders.


"I am honoured that His Royal Highness Prince Charles selected the Heritage Retrofit Carpentry program at Holland College as a venue to learn and explore," said Josh Silver, Learning Manager for Holland College. 


"I am equally encouraged that His Royal Highness understands and appreciates the value of such a program to our communities. Prince Charles seemed pleased with the skills our graduates obtain."



His Royal Highness Prince Charles and Josh Silver, Skills/Comp�tences Canada National Board member. 

Sprinkler Systems Installers Save Lives


Contributed by: UA

Sprinklerfitters, as they are commonly known, are personally responsible for the safety of individuals that work or live in the buildings where they install sprinkler systems. This changed around ten years ago when it was all about the buildings and protecting the investments of the owners. 


Now it is about the occupants, and the National Fire Protection Association 13 code is written as a "life safety" code, which has to guarantee the safety of the individuals who work or reside there by calculating the water flow to a given area in the building and designing the system to do that in case of fire. These engineered systems are actually designed before anything else in the building to ensure they protect the entire operation. To read more.   



Competitors Test Their Abilities Using Consulab Educational Trainers


Contributed by: Consulab 


Whether at the provincial level or at the national level, ConsuLab has been a huge supporter of Skills/Comp�tences Canada (SCC). We provide assistance through our educational trainers, offering them in competitions and even volunteering our staff's time in support of SCC.


Our trainers are well-suited for these competitions due to the simple set up and portability. ConsuLab trainers are made by skilled craftspeople who take pride in their work, which is another reason we, as a company, support the trades so much!


Two of the trainers that were used throughout this year's competitions were the CL-1918 and the CL-1919. To read more.  

General International Takes Part in SCNC 2014

Contributed by: General International

Making it happen: SCNC official suppliers, such as General International, play a critical part in executing SCNC. General International was responsible for supplying many of the necessary tools for the cabinet making competition, as seen below. Additionally, General International had its staff onsite to offer expertise and to hold a Try-A-Trade� and Technology activity.


Interesting People in Trade and Technology Sectors

Martin Couture, Audi Technicien, Explains How he Turned a Passion Into a Career!


What made you decide to pursue a career in the skilled trades? 


One word: passion!  When I was young, I was already a technician and I fixed all my unmanned toys. Now I really enjoy helping my friends fix their cars and helping customers resolve their car problems. When I see the customer's satisfaction, I feel something special! I love it! To read more

Mike Oostenbrink Reveals the Opportunities that Skilled Trades Careers Can Offer


What advice would you give to youth who are looking to pursue a career in the skilled trades?


With most skilled trades, you will work ten months and go to school for two months every year. 


My advice to anyone looking to pursue a career in the skilled trades is to work hard those two months you are in school and learn as much as you can from the people around you. Use the teachers and peers to look for different views on how they are successful at their job. Doing this will give you new ideas and make you stand out when you go back to work.


Another thing to think about is that you never know what doors will open up through a trade. I would have never had the opportunity to work for a worldwide company without getting my machinist ticket first. To read more

Interview with Richard Beaulieu, Shop Foreman for Service Oakville Volkswagen   



I am an automotive technician and what I enjoy most about my profession are the challenges that come with diagnosing and repairing technology that is constantly evolving. These challenges are what motivate me every day.


Some of the skills that are required to be successful in my trade would be communication skills, time management, organization, teamwork, analytical and investigative skills. To read more

SCNC 2014 Partners