Winter 2013 e-newsletter

In This Issue
Message from the CEO
Meeting with Minister Kenney
SCC In The News
NSTTW 2013
SCNC 2014
Calling all Alumni
Scholarship Opportunity
GOC Blog
Partner Update
Article from UA
Article from CAPP

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Message from the CEO


As 2013 comes to a close, the Skills/Comp�tences Canada team would like to thank all of its Member Organizations and partners for enabling success at SCNC in Vancouver, at WorldSkills in Leipzig, and for all other initiatives that took place this year. 


Together, we have made great strides in achieving better awareness for the skilled trades and technology sectors by providing tangible programs and initiatives that will get more young people on the road to a meaningful and profitable career.


In 2014, we will aim to emphasize a greater collaboration between stakeholders to ensure that our young Canadians are prepared for the future skilled trades and technology job market. Making students, their parents and educators understand the importance of essential skills will be key to this endeavour.


This year, we will also seek to raise the bar with the 20th Skills Canada National Competition taking place in Toronto from June 4-7. With only 180 days left until the Opening Ceremony, our team has a full plate but it is definitely up to the challenge!


Have you seen the Mike Holmes' video on SCNC 2014? Take a look to get excited about what's to come, and don't hesitate to share it with your friends and contacts.


I wish you a new year filled with constructive challenges and success, and I look forward to working with you in 2014.


Shaun Thorson

CEO, Skills/Comp�tences Canada


Meeting with Minister Jason Kenney


In November, Skills/Comp�tences Canada (SCC) CEO Shaun Thorson and SCC President Donavon Elliott met with the Minister of Employment and Social Development, The Honourable Jason Kenney, to discuss SCC's programs and upcoming activities. 


Minister Kenney was presented with mounted posters of the 2014 Skills Canada National Competition to hang in his Parliamentary office.


We were delighted to see that Minister Kenney had subsequently Tweeted this picture of the meeting to all his 28,500 followers.  



SCC in the News


Through its strategic public relations efforts, SCC strives to be the voice of skilled trades awareness for youth in Canada. 

So far in 2013, SCC has earned over $6 million worth of media, a key factor in reaching target audiences with our important messaging.


Here are some highlights of our recent national media coverage:


View the clip: November 13 Toronto Breakfast Television segment showcasing skilled trades at Centennial College with Skills Canada CEO Shaun Thorson.


View the clip: November 7 Canada AM segment featuring Shaun Thorson and Mag Ruffman, Canada's Toolgirl.


Read the article:  September 10 interview in MacLean's featuring SCC's President Donavon Elliott who discusses pursuing a career in the skilled trades as a lucrative option. This article also features David Da Costa, a WorldSkills Team Canada 2013 Competitor in Mechatronics.

National Skilled Trades and Technology Week 


Throughout the country, events were held to promote skilled trades and technology careers to youth, with an emphasis on the importance of Essential Skills in a young person's career path.

Skills/Comp�tences Canada also took part in a special launch event at Centennial College in Toronto where grade 8 students, their teachers, Centennial faculty, industry leaders and the media gathered to discuss the opportunities that exists in the skilled trades and technology sectors.


View NSTTW launch event pictures taken on November 5th at Centennial College, including students taking part in Try-A-Trade� and Technology activities.

Watch the Minister of Employment and Social Development's video address during the launch event.



A special thanks to Centennial College, the Holmes Group, our key partners, and all others who made this special event possible!

SCNC 2014 Celebrates 20 Years of Success! 


The 2014 Skills Canada National Competition promises to be the biggest and most amazing event yet.  Celebrating its 20th year of competition, the four days of activities will showcase the best and brightest talent in skilled trades and technologies.  Coming from each coast and region of Canada, the competitors will compete in over 40 contest areas.  


This year, Essential Skills will be highlighted as the theme. Woven into every aspect of the Competition and its supporting activities, participants and spectators will see how essential skills are key to a successful career in the trades and technologies. 


In celebration of 20 years of hosting this national event, additional activities and highlights will be showcased, such as:


* Over 40 Try-A-Trade� and Technology activities where visitors can get hands-on experience

*  A 20 foot Photo Wall Highlighting the History of Skills Canada

*  Essential Skills Stage where interactive demonstrations will take place 

*  A Celebrity Challenge

*  The first ever Educators and Counsellors Workshops

*  Over 40 Skills Canada Champions and medalists involved in the event

*  A special Partnership Luncheon with a surprise guest speaker

*  A National Youth Forum


SCNC 2014 will feature 2 new demonstration skills: Steamfitter - Pipefitter and Photography. The contest descriptions will be available on our Website in January 2014.


Visit our Website for partnership opportunities and for more information about SCNC 2014.


Calling all Alumni! 


If you are a Skills/Comp�tences Canada alumnus who has competed nationally or internationally, we would love to hear about what you are doing now and how the Competition has changed your outlook on work and life.


Contact to sign up as an alumnus.  We would love to share your stories leading up to the 20th Anniversary.



Scholarship Opportunity for Female Collision Repair Students in Canada


The Women's Industry Network (WIN�) is seeking scholarship applications from students who demonstrate their desire to excel in the field of Collision Repair. 


WIN scholarships provide tuition assistance as well as educational opportunities and enrichment events to qualified applicants. The program for 2014 includes:


The College Student Tuition and Conference Scholarship Awards
are presented to students enrolled in a post-secondary collision repair technology program. Each scholarship recipient will receive a $1,000.00 scholarship to continue their post-secondary education in collision repair, a one-year WIN Membership, plus registration fee and travel expenses to attend the 2014 Educational Conference.

The High School Tuition Scholarship Awards are presented to students enrolled in a secondary collision repair technology program who plan to continue their studies at a technical school or college.  Each scholarship winner will receive a $1,000.00 scholarship to continue their post secondary education in collision repair and a one-year WIN membership.


In addition, scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to be mentored by a 2014 recipient of the Most Influential Women award, being presented at the 2014 WIN Educational Conference May 5-7, 2014 in San Diego, CA.


The deadline for applications is January 15, 2014. For scholarship requirement details and submission instructions, go to: WIN Scholarships . 


To learn more about WIN programs or for information on becoming a member or sponsor of WIN, please visit the WIN website at 


For more information about the WIN Scholarship Program, please contact:

Teresa Bolton at (703) 669-6610, email: 

Bev Rook Twibell at (816) 471-2444, email:


Government of Canada Blog Features Skills/Comp�tences Canada Alumni

The Government of Canada recently interviewed national and international Skills Competition medalists about their journey through these competitions and what inspired them to pursue a career in the skilled trades.

Read their blog to find out about what they have learned through their experiences and what their advice is for youth who are looking to get involved in the skilled trades as a future career path.

Read the interview with Mikhaila Currie, bronze medalist in Welding, at SCNC 2013, in Vancouver.

Read the interview with Michael Scheideman, gold medalist in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, at WorldSkills Leipzig 2013.

Partner Corner


Partner Update


Skills/Comptences Canada is very pleased to announce the following developments regarding our partners:


The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) returns as one of our presenting sponsors for the 2014 Competition. CAPP once again joins our other presenting sponsor UA Canadian Piping Trades, now in their second year of a three-year agreement.
PCL Constructors has signed a multi-year agreement as an official sponsor.
The following sponsors are currently in a multi-year partnership with SCC:
  • Stanley / DeWalt - official sponsor and official supplier
  • Lowe's Canada - official sponsor and official supplier
  • CWA/CWB - official sponsor
Pivot Point, Dermalogica, Mitutoyo, Lincoln Electric, AMJ Campbell and ConsuLab on now on board as multi-year suppliers.

Currently in a multi-year partnership with SCC are:

  • Thomas Skinner & Son
  • Haas Automation
  • Fluke
  • Festo 

We look forward to working with these organization and all our partners on a successful 20th anniversary SCNC!



Partner Blog


SCC has launched a partner blog! This platform is a great opportunity for our partners to share information about upcoming events, company promotions or submit a short article (e.g.: youth, skilled trades, etc.). 


Submissions can be sent to Sharon C�t� at


Everybody is a Welder


Everybody is a welder when you ask them, but in the piping industry the welds have to reach their maximum potential, as qualified by an X-ray, Destructive Bend Test, Magnetic Particle, and many other forms of testing.




People can do regular welding and call themselves welders, but rather we're speaking about the welders who can join Chrome, Stainless, Superduplex, Titanium, and a host of other specialty piping materials especially using the Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG) process in a fabrication shop or construction environment. 


These welds are 100% x-rayed and have to meet the quality control requirements for nuclear plants, space shuttles, power plants, and many other industries. 


The people that can do this kind of work are scarce and probably about 10% percent of the population of welders working in the field today. These people take years to develop their skills and are in demand across Canada on every worksite and are paid extremely well for their skills.


The construction industry in Canada is experiencing a changeover in the workforce in many ways, but there is no place where demand is greater than in the field of specialty welding.  The generation of welders that are in the workforce now are approaching retirement age and their jobs will need to be filled.


Want a career that has major opportunity and comes with a fantastic salary? Not everybody is a "welder", but you could be.


Contributed by:  


Outlook for the Trades


If we want the economy to grow and Canadians to prosper, we need to arm our youth with the right skills.


In the next five years, 210,000 skilled trades people will retire and need to be replaced, creating one of the strongest employment outlooks for skilled people - engineers, geologists, electricians, welders, pipefitters, technicians and specialists - Canada has seen in decades.


Canada's oil and natural gas industry, the single largest employer of skilled trades people in the country, currently employs more than 550,000 people and over the next decade the industry will need to fill between 125,000 and 150,000 jobs, according to the Petroleum Human Resources Council.


The construction and maintenance of oil sands facilities alone provides more than 200 million work hours a year for 14 unions with locals from coast to coast. Employment as a result of new oil sands investments is expected to grow from 75,000 jobs in 2010 to 905,000 jobs in 2035, including about 126,000 jobs sourced in provinces other than Alberta. This is a national endeavor with profound employment and community impact.


With cooperation between oil sands companies and the construction industry, the oil sands will be Canada's skilled trades training super-highway, deliver good paying jobs and the next generation of skilled trades.


We need to expand our ability to recruit and retain Canadian workers, including women, minorities, aboriginals and older workers. We need to focus on providing accessible and effective training opportunities to people who want to work.


The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers is pleased to sponsor the Skills Canada National Competition 2014 and to help meet the growing need to develop more skilled trade workers in Canada.


Working together, we can continue to provide secure, well-paying jobs, fuel our economy and keep Canadians moving.


Contributed by: 


SCNC 2014 Partners