Message from the CEO
Skills/Compétences Canada (SCC) is diligently preparing in collaboration with Skills Canada Nova Scotia for the 25th Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC). SCNC 2019 will be held on May 28 and 29 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where over 550 students and apprentices from across Canada will push their limits for the chance to win a spot on the podium. In addition to the competitors, we are expecting more than 7,500 student visitors during the two days who will not only witness the competition but have the opportunity to try their hand at over 50
Try-A-Trade® and Technology activities
which will help them
discover the many careers available in skilled trades and technology. During SCNC, SCC will be highlighting one of the nine Essential Skills - Continuous Learning; and how it is crucial to keep up with the changing job market. Digital and technical skills will also be highlighted as they greatly impact the future of skilled trade and technology jobs on a global scale. Many special events including the Essential Skills Forum, Young Women in Construction Trades conference, and the Automotive summit will
be held to highlight the milestone of SCNC's 25th anniversary and the evolution of this important competition.
At SCNC 2019, the 62 WorldSkills Team Canada (WSTC) 2019 Prospects will compete in the WSTC selection event, which is the final stage of the WorldSkills Team Canada 2019 selection process. These Prospects have been training under the guidance of their WorldSkills Trainer and the WorldSkils Expert since last year's SCNC. We congratulate them on their hard work and wish them the best of luck at the selection event. The winners will go on to compete for the title of international champion at WorldSkills Kazan 2019! The WorldSkills Competition is held every two years and represents the best of international skilled trades and technology.
In January, SCC staff and volunteers attended the WorldSkills Competition Preparation Week in Kazan, Russia as part of the preparations for the international event. With over 1,400 competitors in 56 Skill areas, Skills Canada is looking forward to this amazing event this August.
Whether it is for the Provincial/Territorial, National or International Competitions or any of our other programs I want to take this opportunity to thank our hundreds of volunteers and our partners for their tremendous work. It's through their commitment that we are able to engage Canada's future skilled workforce.
I hope that I will see you soon at one of our upcoming events.
Chief Executive Officer
Skills/Compétences Canada In the News
Here are some recent news clips featuring Skills/Compétences Canada (SCC) and its Member Organizations:
-Read this press release issued by Skills/Compétences Canada on March 13: J.D. Irving, Limited and Irving Shipbuilding sign on as Premier Sponsors for the 25th Skills Canada National Competition.
- Read this press release issued by
on February 12: TransCanada Returns as a Presenting Sponsor of the 2019 Skills Canada National Competition.
- Read this press release issued by Skills/Compétences Canada on February 6: UA Canada Renews Sponsorship in Support of Canada's Only National, Trade and Technology Competition.
out this article published on November 22 in Simcoe Reformer: Sink or swim for local students, featuring Skills Canada Ontario's cardboard boat race.
- Read this article featured in
on November 24: More than 350 junior high students introduced to trades at College of the North Atlantic in St. John's over the weekend, which highlights the Intermediate Challenge hosted by Skills Canada Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Read this article published in Yellowknife Now on December 5: Yellowknife students take part in Skills Canada NWT Workshops.
- Check out this article in
on December 11: St. Augustine Ponoka's junior and senior teams earn gold at Skills Canada, featuring Skills Canada Alberta.
- Read this article in My Prince George Now featured on January 16: Robots, turbines and chicken on show at CNC.
- Watch: Junior high students get hands-on with the trades, a video highlighting Skills Canada Alberta's Exploration Days in the Edmonton Journal on January 22.
- Read this article published in Le Quotidien on February 2 : Une première édition couronnée de succès, highlighting an event held by Compétences Québec.
Check out this article featured in Autosphere on February 12: Adrien Roy, l'espoir québécois pour le Mondial des métiers, which highlights a WorldSkills Team Canada 2019 Prospect in Car Painting.
Kassandra Bilodeau, a Car Painting Competitor at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015, in Brazil, Talks About How Her Passion For Cars Led to a Specialized Career Choice
The person who got me interested in car painting was my father, no doubt about it. He had a 1986 Monte-Carlo that needed a lot of love. I was about nine years old when I started helping him to restore his car. For me, those were the best father and daughter times ever. My father was a mechanic by trade, and he took the time to explain all the parts of the carburetor engine, all about mechanics and about all kinds of old cars. Above all, he helped me feel the passion he felt about cars. That was the start of my love affair with cars, especially old cars that needed a new paint job. As a young girl, I was passionate about colours, for drawing and painting. I was just 10 years old when I drew my first vintage car.
I have to say that my father is also the person who had the most influence over the young woman I am today. He was the first person to believe in me and to encourage me in all my projects. I also have to thank Claude Labonté, a teacher of bodywork at my school. He recognized my skill in painting and told me I had the potential to compete in a WorldSkills Competition. He was my mentor throughout that competition. We went through the highs and lows of training together and he always supported me. He knew how to encourage me and to share his knowledge with me in a way that helped me make the right choices. Claude Labonté was the first one to tell me about the WorldSkills Competition and to suggest I could do well. Of course, there were others who told me that young girls don't know anything about cars. "It's not the place for girls," they said as they tried to discourage me; but they got a surprise when they saw how determined I was to succeed, and I did.
Thanks to the concentrated training for WorldSkills I was able to learn a great deal in a very short time. All that hard work helped me to become a better painter, and a new and better person. Participating at a high, international level opened doors for me within my trade and career but it also changed me and the way I look at life.
I strongly believe we can do a lot more to attract girls and women into our trades and technology. For example, by telling the stories of other women like me who have been successful in non-traditional trades. More women need to know these success stories and have the chance to speak with us and ask questions of us. Then they would know that they are just as capable of making their own career.
I am a 24-year old woman, barely five feet tall but I know how to take a heavy truck apart and put it back together. If I can do it, so can many other young women. All they need is encouragement. Let us make examples of women who have made successful careers in specialized trades to encourage and attract more women into non-traditional trades.
Kassandra Bilodeau shows her autobody skills.
My advice for anyone who is in school right now and who is not sure what kind of trade to enter is very simple. Follow your heart. Go where your passion is! Don't choose a trade because of the pay, the social status or the opinion of others, even your parents. It's your life! Choose a trade that makes you happy to go to work every morning, a trade where the hours fly by and you are proud of what you're doing. Pay no attention to the people who say you can't do it. Yes, you can!
At present, I am self-employed. I do a complete overhaul of heavy trucks. I give new life and new colours to tired trucks. In addition, I am a member of Skills/Compétences Canada's National Alumni Committee. I would like very much to introduce a program that would bring former competitors into schools in Quebec to tell the students about the wonderful opportunities that the specialized trades and the WorldSkills Competition can offer them. I am also chef d'atelier (workshop manager) for car painting for the provincial skills competition in Quebec. Recently, I attended the WorldSkills General Assembly in Niagara Falls. As a result of that experience I went to Rwanda, with WorldSkills as part of a mission to develop projects for promoting specialized trades in that country. As you can see, specialized trades can take you as far as you want to go.
Contributed by: Kassandra Bilodeau, SCC alumni
Essential Skills Corner
Cannexus 2019 Recap
Skills/Compétences Canada (SCC) returned to Cannexus 2019 as the sole sponsor of the Recharge Station. While conference participants charged their mobile devices, they had the opportunity to learn about Skills Canada, Essential Skills, and the Essential Skills Work Ready Youth Program. In addition to the recharge station booth, CEO Shaun Thorson participated in a panel discussion sponsored by RBC Future Launch, 'Preparing Youth to Thrive in an Age of Disruption'. As a panelist, Mr. Thorson shared SCC's perspective on topics including thriving in a skills economy; employers hiring for skills over credentials, the role of post-secondary institution and the impact of meaningful work-integrated learning. He also spoke about how education, training and employment programs need to evolve to help youth succeed in the future job market.
Shaun Thorson, CEO of Skills Canada participates in a panel discussion at the 2019 Cannexus Conference.
Join us on May 29 for the Essential Skills Forum!
The Essential Skills Forum is sponsored by Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency and will take place on day two of competition, Wednesday, May 29th, 2019 from 8:30 am - 12:30 pm at the Halifax Exhibition Centre. Incorporating the theme of the 2019 Skills Canada National Competition, Continuous Learning, the ES Forum will discuss issues surrounding Essential Skills, apprenticeship, and the skilled trades.
for more information or to register for this free event.
WorldSkills Member Countries and Regions Gathered in Kazan, Russia for Competition Preparation Week
This past January, delegates from many of the 79 WorldSkills Member countries and regions along with the members of the WorldSkills Kazan 2019 team, gathered at the Korston Hotel, in Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, to discuss key issues related to the preparation and delivery of the 45th WorldSkills Competition. This included planning meetings with competitions committees, skills management teams and partners. There were also several meetings to discuss the implementation of the WorldSkills strategy and the 2025 vision. In addition, the delegates participated in a site visit of the venue; the Kazan Expo International Exhibition Centre. This venue is being constructed specifically for WorldSkills Kazan 2019. The exhibition centre is on a plot of
square meters near the Kazan International Airport.
Delegates from around the globe meet at the Korston Hotel, in Kazan, in preparation for WorldSkills Kazan 2019.
In addition, the One School One Country Program was launched as students from 57 local schools welcomed representatives of the WorldSkills countries and regions. One School One Country is an educational program aimed at the promotion of skills in the youth environment, career guidance, and cultural exchange. This program was created in 2007. On August 22, 2019, the national teams of the WorldSkills Member countries and regions will visit schools, present their national cultures, get acquainted with traditions and culture of the WorldSkills Competition host country, and organize interactive workshops for students of educational institutions. The students will have the opportunity to meet the competitors from their matched team to learn about each other and their cultures, while increasing international awareness of vocational skills. Canada has been paired with Secondary School No. 181, Kazan, Sovetskiy district, Tulpar st., 2. From August 23 to 26, 2019, school students involved in the program will visit WorldSkills Kazan 2019 at the Kazan Expo International Exhibition Centre.
International Woman's Day Highlights
Skills/Compétences Canada is proud to support
International Women's Day
which took place on Friday, March 8th, 2019. This day was created to take action for the achievement of gender equality and build a gender balanced world. International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women
while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance.
Skills Canada is pleased to be backing this vital push for gender equality in vocational education and skilled professions. This year's campaign theme was
#BalanceforBetter. Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive.
WorldSkills Team Canada 2019 Prospects Will Gather in the Province of Quebec this Spring
All of the 62 WorldSkills Team Canada 2019 Prospects will be gathering in Montebello, Quebec, from March 29 to 31, to participate in team building and mental preparation activities. Though all 62 will not make the team it is important to ensure they bond so those that do win the honour of being named as part of WorldSkills Team Canada 2019 will head to Kazan, Russia as a strong unit. The interactive exercises throughout the weekend include an escape room adventure. The prospects will partake in a presentation given by Dr. Natalie Durand-Bush, a Mental Performance Consultant from the University of Ottawa, who will share tips on how to cope with the stress of the competition. The following areas will be addressed: training, stress management, jetlag, ability to focus, maintaining a positive attitude, and striving for success. Skills Canada staff and Team Leaders will brief Prospects on what to expect at WorldSkills Kazan 2019. This will be their last meeting before the Selection Event, taking place in conjunction with the 2019 Skills Canada National Competition, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Good luck to all Prospects at the Selection Event.
The winner in each Skill Area at the Selection Event, will be named to WorldSkills Team Canada 2019 and will represent Canada in Kazan.
The 62 WorldSkills Team Canada 2019 Prospects pose in front of Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, during their first team meeting in September 2018.
Get Ready for the 2019 Skills Canada National Competition!
The countdown is on for the Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC), taking place May 28 and 29, 2019, at the Halifax Exhibition Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the Skills Canada National Competition. Through SCNC, Skills/Compétences Canada promotes skilled trade and technology careers to Canadian youth. The Skills Canada National Competition, SCC's flagship event, is an ideal way to connect with tomorrow's workforce!
Approximately 7,500 student visitors will participate in over 50
Try-A-Trade® and Technology activities during the two-day competition, on May 28 and 29. Over 550 provincial and territorial students and apprentices from across Canada will compete for medal placement in over 40 trade and technology competitions. WorldSkills Team Canada 2019 Prospects will compete in 29 Skill Areas during SCNC, at the Selection Event. The winners will then be named as part of WorldSkills Team Canada 2019, representing Canada at the 45th WorldSkills Competition in Kazan, Russia in August of 2019!
The Skills Canada National Competition is free and open to the public. Be sure to join us! Register your class and give them the opportunity to participate in, and learn about skilled trade and technology careers. Travel assistance is available! For more information,
go to our webpage
Career exhibitors register now to exhibit at the only national competition for skilled trades and technology that showcases Canada's leading youth!
Follow Canada's Journey to Kazan, Russia for the World's Largest Skills Competition!
Every two years, the WorldSkills Competition represents the best of international excellence in skilled trades and technologies. 2019 will mark the first time that Russia is hosting the WorldSkills Competition. From August 22 to 27, 2019, young competitors from around the globe will gather at the Kazan Expo International Exhibition Centre for the 45th WorldSkills Competition, with the goal of earning the title of World Champion in their Skill Area. The 31 WorldSkills Team Canada 2019 members will be competing in 29 Skills Areas against the best in the world at WorldSkills Kazan 2019. Follow their journey on the Skills Canada Website at www.skillscanada.com and on our social media platforms #WSTC2019.
The 2018 Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) was a qualifying year for youth to try out to compete at WorldSkills Kazan 2019. The top two age-eligible candidates in 29 Skill Areas had the opportunity to train with the help of a trainer and an expert. These 62 WorldSkills Team Canada 2019 Prospects will compete head to head in a Team Canada Selection Event from May 27 to May 29, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the Skills Canada National Competition to determine who will represent Canada at WorldSkills Kazan 2019. Once selected, the members of WorldSkills Team Canada 2019 will continue their preparation for the highly challenging four-day competition in Kazan.
These competitors represent the best of their peers and have earned a spot on their country's team through dedication and hard work. At the WorldSkills Competition, competitors will participate in simulated real work challenges, and will be judged against international quality standards.
About WorldSkills Kazan 2019
More than 1,300 competitors from up to 80 Member countries and regions who will compete in over 50 Skill Areas representing six sectors:
- Manufacturing and Engineering Technology
- Information and Communication Technology
- Construction and Building Technology
- Transportation and Logistics
- Creative Arts and Fashion
- Social and Personal Services
The Competition takes place in front of approximately 150,000 spectators in over 800,000 square feet of space in a newly constructed building.
The WorldSkills Competition inspires youth to discover the many careers that are available in the skilled trade and technology sectors. With an increasing demand for skilled workers, the trade and technology sectors represent a lucrative and exciting career path for youth around the world. Throughout the Competition, stakeholders from industry, government, and education are provided with the opportunity to exchange information and best practices regarding industry and professional education at networking events and thought-provoking conferences.
The event slogan for the 45th WorldSkills Competition is "Skills for the Future", which is also the official Competition hashtag: #skillsforthefuture
Mark Your Calendar for the 2020 Skills Canada National Competition!
Next year's Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) will be held May 28-29, 2020, at the Vancouver Convention Centre, in Vancouver, British Columbia
2020 marks the 26th year of the Skills Canada National Competition. Through SCNC, Skills/Compétences Canada promotes skilled trade and technology careers to Canadian youth. The Skills Canada National Competition is our flagship event and is an ideal way to connect with tomorrow's workforce!
Vancouver, with its location near the mouth of the Fraser River and on the waterways of the Strait of Georgia, Howe Sound, Burrard Inlet, and their tributaries, has for thousands of years, been a place of meeting, trade and settlement. Vancouver is consistently named as one of the top five worldwide cities for livability and quality of life. Winters in Greater Vancouver are the fourth mildest of Canadian cities after nearby Victoria, Nanaimo and Duncan, all on Vancouver Island.
We could not hold an event of this magnitude without the support of our partners and stakeholders, including the Government of Canada, our education partners and many, many others.
Our multi-year partners include:
Canadian Copper & Brass Association
Computers for Success Canada
Copper Development Association
Emerson Climate Technologies
Featherlite a Louisville Ladder Company
Gene Haas Foundation
McCordick a Bunzl Company
Sheet Metal Workers Local 296
Stanley / DeWalt
Volvo Construction Equipment
To find out more about our sponsorship opportunities that would best suit your organization, please contact: Gail Vent, Director, Business Development and Marketing, Skills Canada, 1-877-754-5336 ext. 507,
dustry News and Stories
Jill Timushka Shares Her Story as a Woman Working in the Male Dominated Trade of Welding
As a woman in the trades for 23 years, I can speak from experience that the trades are a great and rewarding career choice. Having always loved what I do for a living, I have never once regretted my decision to make a career from something I truly enjoy. Because I enjoy what I do, I never get up in the morning dreading the thought of going to work, like I had before joining the trades.
There were not a lot of women welders 23 years ago. This made for an interesting first few days on a new job site. Having worked hard to sharpen my skills, I always let my work speak for itself. In no time at all, the new group of co-workers were beside me, ready to tackle the next job, as a team.
Having no blood brothers of my own, I now have a hundred trade brothers. It's a family like no other. Tradespeople stick together. Whether you need help on the job or could just use a little advice, they're there for you. I've also fixed many plumbing issues with a quick evening phone call to a plumber brother.
Joining the trades can open the door to more possibilities than you would have ever expected. There are supervisory positions on many levels, teaching opportunities, or you could reach for the sky and work for head office. I taught for many years, from artist welding courses at the local college, to teaching pre-employment welding to adults at my union hall. Teaching high school students was very rewarding as well.
||Jill Timushka spreads the word to young women about pursuing a career in the skilled trades.
Telling young women about my experience and what it has brought me will hopefully encourage them to join the trades. I've always had a great sense of pride in my work. Knowing that what I have welded will be there for many years to come carries a pride that can't be explained. The great pay and benefits, as well as a pension plan, complete the deal. The great example for my son is an added bonus.
With more incentive pro-grams available to women in the trades, it's a great time to join. There's an Apprenticeship Incentive Grant specific for women, plus other grants are also available. There are now more options for workwear as well, with many companies having a clothing line specific to women. New technology and ever improving equipment make the trades more exciting. There is no better time to join the trades than now!
I'm living proof that women can succeed in the trades. I am honoured to be a woman welder.
Jill Timushka RSE
*interim* National Manager of Youth, Diversity and Indigenous Relations
J.D. Irving, Limited is Working to Diversify its Workforce
Over the next 3 years (2019-2021) J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI) is looking to hire over 700 skilled trades across its diverse operations (Forestry, Forest Products, Shipbuilding, Transportation & Logistics, Construction & Equipment, Retail, and Food) in Canada and the U.S.
Today JDI is proud to be the largest employer of skilled apprentices in both New Brunswick (NB) and Nova Scotia (NS).
JDI is working to diversify its workforce. Encouraging women in skilled trades is part of this strategy. Scholarships, mentorship and awareness are increasing the number of applicants.
Together, great partners like our community colleges, and dedicated women are making it happen. The company is working in New Boots in N.B. and with Women Unlimited in N.S. as well as a number of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) groups like Techsploration.
Vicki Berg's dream of becoming a welder was often dismissed by others, but her dream is now a reality. She is a welder at the Halifax Shipyard building Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships. Vicki is helping the next wave of female welders enter the trade by acting as a mentor with Women Unlimited. A proud First Nations' woman, she is also actively supporting Pathways to Shipbuilding, an education and apprenticeship program creating job opportunities for 20 Indigenous students in metal fabrication.
An all-female Tug Crew makes history in Halifax Harbour.
Dede is one of the top performing forest harvesters in the New Brunswick woods.
Contributed by: J.D. Irving, Limited
Irving Shipbuilding Provides Career Opportunities for Underrepresented Youth
In 2011, Irving Shipbuilding was selected as Canada's combatant shipbuilder under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. This presented an opportunity to invest long-term to grow and diversify their team building Royal Canadian Navy's future fleet.
The Irving Shipbuilding Centre of Excellence was established with the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) to provide pathways and opportunities for underrepresented groups to pursue shipbuilding careers. Irving Shipbuilding invests $250,000 per year to support the Centre and its programs.
Pathways to Shipbuilding, which is one of their programs, is a 14-week preparatory course followed by a two-year trades diploma at NSCC. The end goal is to be hired with Irving Shipbuilding. To date, classes have been established for women, Indigenous Canadians, and African Nova Scotians.
The first graduates, 14 female welders and metal fabricators, joined Irving Shipbuilding in 2017 and will soon write Red Seal exams. The second class of women will graduate in Spring 2019 and are keen to start building ships. The graduates of the Pathways to Shipbuilding for Indigenous Canadians joined Irving Shipbuilding in the summer of 2018, and the African Nova Scotian class is studying welding and will graduate in 2020. These tradespeople are changing the face of shipbuilding and becoming role models for their communities.
Pathways to Shipbuilding students and graduates with Mme Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, ship sponsor, at the naming ceremony of the future HMCS Harry DeWolf.
Contributed by: Irving Shipbuilding
Volvo CE's Dealer Strongco Hires Young Students for its Apprenticeship Program
Bhogal had a passion for automobiles since a young age, when he watched YouTube videos on how to repair cars and later on, to help fix friends' cars. The 20-year-old was inspired to learn a trade from watching his dad, who was a carpenter and always worked with his hands. Pushed by his own eagerness for big challenges, Jas decided to follow a career in the heavy equipment industry.
Jaskaran Bhogal, apprentice at Strongco, talks about his career journey in the heavy equipment industry.
Only three days after graduating from Centennial College,
Toronto, the talented young technician was hired as an apprentice for Strongco, a Canadian Volvo CE dealer headquartered in Mississauga.
"It's exciting to fix something on a machine and then witness it construct a building or help pave roads," he said. "It's more than just me fixing a machine, it's for the greater good. This inspires me to keep learning everything I can."
Another apprentice who was hired
at Strongco was 23-year-old Chloé Dion.
Her grandfather's stories about travelling the world as the head of safety at a mining company encouraged her to study a trade. She started out in drilling and blasting, but every time a drill broke, she didn't know how to fix it. This drove her decision to go to Sir Sandford Fleming College and learn more about repairing drills. She enjoyed working in heavy equipment so much that she stayed.
"Going from drilling to heavy equipment has been a great experience because of the variety of work the job offers," Dion said. "Every day is different, with different problems to solve. I went from not knowing how to properly hold a wrench to knowing what tools to use to fix all types of machines."
Bhogal and Dion are part of a new generation of tech-nicians who are entering the workforce of an industry in
the midst of rapid trans-formation. Construction equi-pment manufacturers have been investing in new, innovative technologies, a move that has helped attract young talents to tech schools and reduce the labour shortage in the industry. Volvo CE, for example, has also partnered with organi-zations such as Skills/ Compétences Canada to encourage youth to pursue careers in manufacturing and engineering.
"With the development and use of technology in the industry, we are definitely seeing more young people picking up a trade," said Bruce Lough,
national training manager
for Strongco. "To help train these students, we support colleges with software tools and even put machines in the shops, so they get more familiar with Volvo CE products. When they graduate,
they are better equipped to start their career with the Volvo product
Contributed by: Volvo
SCNC 2019 Presenting Sponsors
SCNC 2019 Youth Engagement Sponsor
SCNC 2019 Premier Sponsors
SCNC 2019 Essential Skills Forum Sponsor
SCNC 2019 Official Sponsors
SCNC 2019 Supporting Sponsor
Try-A-Trade® and Technology Partners
Educational and Association Partners
Click here for a list of all sponsors and suppliers for SCNC Halifax 2019.
Click here for a list of all sponsors and suppliers for WorldSkills Kazan 2019.