Spring 2020 e-newsletter

In This Issue

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Message from the CEO 
As you surely know by now, Skills/Compétences Canada (SCC) recently announced the cancellation of the Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) 2020, as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. SCNC was scheduled to take place from May 27 to 30 in Vancouver.
The Competition was shaping up to be one of the most engaging and interesting yet. In addition to fantastic initiatives such as the networking events; Try-A-Trade ® and Technology activities; HGTV celebrities Kate Campbell and Sebastian Clovis; career exhibitors; and the Essential Skills activities, we were planning the following with our various partners:
  • Young Women in Construction Trades Conference, hosted by UA Canada
  • Women in Welding breakfast and 'fireside chat', hosted by the CWB Welding Foundation
  • Indigenous Showcase, in partnership with the Construction Foundation of BC
  • The Technology Zone, highlighting new technologies in the workplace and showing excellence in our Information Technology competitions
Although we are unable to host our flagship event this year, the cancellation of SCNC Vancouver 2020 will not stop us from promoting skilled trade and technology careers to youth and apprentices. We look forward to   working with our Skills Canada Member Organizations, and our many partners/stakeholders   to offer activities in the future months to inform   Canadian youth about the many opportunities   in skilled trade and technology careers.  We will tirelessly move forward with new initiatives while promoting the endless possibilities on our social media platforms.
I want to take this opportunity to thank our hundreds of partners and volunteers for their tremendous work at our events. It's through their commitment and support that we are able to engage Canada's future skilled workforce and share with them life changing opportunities that exist within the skilled trades and technologies.
In closing, I want to thank the many workers from the essential service sectors that include skilled trades and technology careers. Thank you to manufacturers who have shifted manufacturing processes to create products that will help keep Canadians safe. Thank you to the maintenance staff who maintain our essential buildings, including hospitals. Thank you to the truck drivers and other transportation staff that keep making deliveries. Thank you to those service representatives at our pharmacies and grocery stores that keep the shelves stocked and greet us with a smile and to the technology workers for keeping our communication systems functioning.
In these unprecedented times we are reminded of the contributions that all Canadians make to the fabric of a modern and developed country. I look forward to seeing many of you at our future events, and myself with our Skills/Compétences Canada team we wish you good health. #creatingpossibilities

Shaun Thorson
Chief Executive Officer
Skills/Compétences Canada 

Click here to contact us.

Skills/Compétences Canada In the News 
Here are some recent news clips featuring Skills/Compétences Canada,  
its Member Organizations and the skilled trades:
- Read this article which highlights the Skills Canada British Columbia Regional Skills Competition, in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News on February 22, 2020: High school trades workers compete at Westview Secondary.
- Check out this article and video featured in Cape Breton Post on February 20, 2020 which highlights the Skills Canada Nova Scotia Skilled Futures in Oceans workshop: Students given hands on career opportunities at Canadian Coast Guard College.
- Check out this interesting article published in Macleans on February 3, 2020 which features Skills/Compétences Canada's CEO Shaun Thorson and several SCC Alumni: These Careers Pay Solid Salaries, Even While You're Training.

- Read this article featured in Macleans on February 3, 2020 on the importance of attracting more women in the skilled trades: Why We Need More Women in These Particular Careers Than Ever Before
- Read this article in South Peace News published on January 21, 2020: Students preparing for Robo Rumble.  
- Check out this informative article in Macleans on January 14, 2020: 10 Reasons You Should Absolutely Consider a Career in the Skilled Trades.  
- Read this article published in La Presse on December 28, 2020, featuring Mélodie Perez-Mousseau, competitor in Confectioner/Pastry Cook at WorldSkills Leipzig 2013: A brioche breakfast designed Mélodie Perez-Mousseau (Un déjeuner brioché signé Mélodie Perez-Mousseau).  
- Check out this article featured in Flin Flon Reminder on December 12, 2020 which highlights an event hosted by Skills Canada Manitoba: Mentors look to inspire next generation.

- Read this article published in The Chronicle Herald on December 6, 2020 which highlights two-time gold-medal winners in Skills Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Skills Competitions: Teenage dream: Newfoundland twins baking up success with cake business.
- Listen to this clip on   Virgin Radio featuring the 12th annual Cardboard Boat Race hosted by Skills Canada Manitoba: Sink or Swim: students build boats with duct tape and cardboard.
- Read this article in Education News Canada published on January 30, 2020 which features Clarissa Roque, Medallion of Excellence winner in Confectioner/Pastry Cook at WorldSkills Leipzig 2013: Baking with the best: Clarissa Roque earns top recognition at WorldSkills.
Social Media Highlights

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Skills Canada Alumni Features

In each edition, Skills/Compétences Canada will be featuring Skills Canada Alumni to hear about their skills story and what advice they would like to share with future generations. This quarter, Skills Canada spoke to two previous WorldSkills competitors who are also sisters, Patricia and Clarissa Roque from Vancouver, British Columbia.
Patricia Roque Turns her Passion for Design into a Career

Patricia Roque competed at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 in Fashion Technology and won a Medallion of Excellence.  
Patricia got introduced to Fashion Technology in high school where she took her first textiles course . The first time she competed at a Regional Skills Competition was when she was in Grade 11. What started off as being a mandatory component for school, soon became something she was passionate about because of the techniques and skills she learned through her training. Since she had placed first at a Regional Skills Competition, she moved onto a Provincial Skills Competition where she won the gold medal. That same year she competed against the best in Canada at the Skills Canada National Competition 2014, in Toronto, and won a gold medal which qualified her to compete at the WorldSkills Competition 2015, in São Paulo, Brazil. The four days of competition at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 were intense and challenged her in every sense, but she was happy with the results and won a Medallion of Excellence.  
Her biggest influencers and mentors have been her trainer, Nina Ho, the e xpert, Jozée Dulude, and the previous WorldSkills Team Canada 2013 competitor in Fashion Technology , Donna Lu. They, along with the support she received from her family and friends, have contributed to her unforgettable s kills journey which she describes as a once in a lifetime opportunity to not only learn about her trade but to also meet other passionate people from different trades and technologies across the world.
Patricia Roque competed at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015. 
Patricia's advice to youth when choosing their career path is to stay curious and ask questions . This can help you determine which industry is best suited for you . She also recommends doing your research on the kind of jobs that an industry has and see if any resonate with you and then ask advisors or people you know that are in these fields to see how they got there . Also, mention your goals and aspirations to people and see if they know anyone who can help. She realize s how talking to people about her goals has helped her grow her network .  
Patricia currently works as an administrative assistant at Blair Shapera Custom Clothing and also works on short films as a costume designer. She continues to stay involved with Skills Canada by volunteering as a judge at Regional and Provincial Skills Competitions.  
Clarissa Roque Bakes her Way to the Top 
Clarissa Roque competed at WorldSkills Kazan 2019 in Confectioner/Pastry Cook  
and won a Medallion of Excellence.  
Clarissa says she ha s always known that she wanted to work in the food industry, specifically with chocolate and pastr ies . In elementary school , she started selling cupcakes to her classmates and her parents' coworkers. She got into the industry when she was 15, starting at a café making mousse cakes and macarons. She now works at the Apprentice Chocolatier at Chez Christophe Chocolate and Pastries .  
Clarissa found out about Skills Competitions through her sister Patricia Roque who had competed at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015. When she was in ninth grade, she decided to give it a go the following year and participated in two Skills Regional Competitions, four Skills British Columbia Provincial Competitions, two Skills Canada National Competitions and finally represented Canada at the 2019 WorldSkills Competition, in Kazan, Russia. Overall, Clarissa describes her skills journey as an unforgettable experience that has shown her what is possible when you set your heart on it. She has also received a lot of support and guidance along the way through her instructors at the Vancouver Community College that have been very influential and inspired her to follow her dreams.
Clarissa Roque competed at WorldSkills Kazan 2019. 
Clarissa believe s that getting people to try skilled trades and technologies is key to building our future skilled workforce . By exposing people to these careers, it gives them the opportunity to explore different paths. As a graduate of a dual-credit program in baking for high school students, she is adamant that this early exposure gave her a taste of what the industry is like. In the future, she would like to see more of these trades and technology programs offered in schools. She thinks it would also be beneficial for industry leaders to visit schools and introduce students to a wide variety of career paths to help spark that initial interest.  
Her advice to the next generation of workers is explore and have fun! You should be proactive by attending information sessions and workshops in order to discover what interests you. It may take time to find the right path for you but once you find it, finding motivation nearly becomes effortless.  
Clarissa has continued to stay involved with skills by sharing her story at skills events to show what being involved with skills organizations has brought her. She also recently judged a Regional Skills Competition in British Columbia in Baking and hopes to judge many more.  
Check out Clarissa's i nstagram @ roqueclarissa to see all her latest goodies!
Skills Canada News

Skills/Compétences Canada (SCC) Attends Engaging Meeting with Minister Qualtrough  
On February 20, SCC President Karen Creditor and CEO Shaun Thorson participated in a productive first meeting with the new Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, in her Parliament Hill office.  
Minister Qualtrough comes to the role with previous Cabinet experience, having served as the Minister for Public Services and Procurement. Before entering politics, Ms. Qualtrough was a human rights lawyer who focused on sports and inclusion. She also served as President of the Canadian Paralympic Association during the 2012 Vancouver Games, as well as in other senior roles related to sports administration.   
A competitive swimmer herself, Qualtrough won three medals for Canada at the 1988 and 1992 Paralympic Games . She is also the recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work in furthering disability inclusion.   
In her mandate letter from the Prime Minister, Qualtrough was tasked with a number of responsibilities that relate to SCC, such as:  
  • Continue to support the work of the national campaign to promote the skilled trades as first careers for young people.  
  • Create the Canadian Apprenticeship Service in partnership with provinces, territories, employers and unions.   
  • With the support of the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, enhance the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy and the Canada Summer Jobs program .    
At the recent meeting with Ms. Creditor and Mr. Thorson , the Minister expressed a significant openness to working more closely with SCC in order to further promote skilled trades and technology careers to Canadian yout h. She w as also impressed to hear about SCC's extensive networks with educators, colleges, corporate partners and industry sector leaders across the country. 
Shaun Thorson, CEO of SCC, The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and Karen Creditor, SCC's President, met to discuss the future of skilled trades.  
During the conversation, the Minister acknowledged that although we cannot predict with certainty the jobs of the future, she believes that collaboration with 
partners like SCC  will  help   prepare our future workforce regarding skills development and proficiency in Essential Skills.     


SCC has invited Minister  Qualtrough  and her government colleagues to attend future  events.
In the coming months, SCC will continue to engage with more federal elected officials who hold skills and youth-related portfolios.  
M.P.s of all Stripes Take Part in Skills/Compétences Canada's  
Future of Skills Panel 
On February 27, Skills/ Compétences Canada (SCC) hosted a multi-partisan parliamentary panel where Members of Parliament representing four of the major federal parties shared their insights on The Future of Skills Development in Canada.   
Despite taking place during Ottawa's worst winter storm of the season, t he event was well attended by many national sector leaders and corporate partners , as well as SCC 's National Board members.     
Taking part on the panel were the following Members of Parliament: 
  • Dan Albas, M.P. for Central Okanagan- Similkameen - Nicola, B.C., Conservative Shadow Minister to Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
  • Daniel Blaikie, M.P. for Elmwood Transcona, MB, NDP Critic for Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

  • Louise Chabot , députée de Thérèse-De-Blainville, QC, Porte-parole du Bloc québécois en matière d'Emploi, développement de la main-d'œuvre et travail 
  • Adam Vaughan, M.P. for Spadina - Fort York, ON, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development  
Moderated by SCC's President Karen Creditor, panelists were asked what more should be done to increase awareness of skilled trades and technology careers to youth, and how their respective parties plan on creating policies and programs which would encourage a more diverse and inclusive cohort to consider these jobs. 
From left to right: Dan Albas, Louise Chabot, Daniel Blaikie, Adam Vaughan and Karen Creditor participate in a Future of Skills panel. 
Despite representing different ideologies, all panelists seem to be in agreement that more must be done to demonstrate the benefits of skilled trades and technology careers to youth and their parents. They also agreed that finding solutions to the skills mismatch was a fundamental challenge to Canada's economic prosperity.
March 8th Marked International Women's Day
International Women ' s Day, which was held on March 8, 2020 , is a global day recognized annually which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marked a call to action for accelerating gender parity and is adopted by many organizations.  
International Women ' s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action. It has been occurring for well over a century and continues to grow. Purple is the colour chosen to signify International Women's Day as it signifies justice and dignity.   
This year's campaign theme was # EachforEqual because an equal world is an enabled world. Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world. Join us in mak ing a positive difference for women and ensur ing that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.    
Take action for equality! #IWD2020 #EachforEqual  
For more information, go to: www.internationalwomensday.com .
Check out Skills/ Compétences Canada's social media channels to see how we celebrated this day!  
Upcoming Events

Skills Canada National Competition 2020

It is with great regret that due to the uncertainty of the
Coronavirus (COVID - 19) situation, we are announcing the cancel l ation of the Skills Canada National Competition 2020 that was scheduled from May 27 to 30 in Vancouver.

much discussion with our Provincial/Territorial member organizations, stakeholders and taking guidance from our public health authorities, we felt it was prudent to cancel the event. The health and safety of our student participants, spectators, volunteers, partners and staff are paramount and we did not feel we could deliver an event that would meet the current Coronavirus (COVID - 19) guidelines provid ed by Canada's public health authorities.

We look forward to working with our many partners and stakeholders to continue to offer activities in the future that inform Canadian youth about the many opportunities
in skilled trades and technology careers. 
Essential Skills News
The Office of Literacy and Essential Skills will be launching an updated Essential Skills framework . Many changes will make up the new framework including a new name, the addition of two skills, and edits to existing ones. Look for the new Framework launch by the summer of 2020.  

RBC Future Launch
Together with RBC Foundation, Skills/ Compétences Canada supports Skills Canada Alumni in various activities across the country.  These activities are targeted at informing and helping young Canadians acquire the skills they need for 21st century jobs. Activities include presentations to students, Try-A-Trade® and Technology activities, mentoring bursaries, alumni networking events, meetings and participation at several provincial/territorial skills competitions and the next Skills Canada National Competition.
Save the Date for the Skills Canada National Competition 2021! 
Next year's Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) will be held June 3 and 4, 2021 at the Centre de foires de Québec, in Québec, QC.  
The year 20 2 1 will mark the 27 th Skills Canada National Competition. Through SCNC, Skills/ Compétences Canada promotes skilled trade and technolog y careers to Canadian youth. The Skills Canada National Competition is our flagship event and is a n ideal way to connect with tomorrow's workforce!  
Québec City, located along Canada ' s St. Lawrence River, is known for its classical architecture and a distinctive European feel. The Historic District of Old Québec ' s fortified city walls are the only ones of their kind left standing in northern North America, and in 1985, were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most of the city ' s economy is based on transportation, tourism, the service sector, and defense. Québec City is one of the largest and most visited places in Canada. Tourists flock to its various festivals. It also boasts a host of historic sites, including Citadel of Québec, as well as numerous museums.  
We could not hold an event of this magnitude without the support of our partners and stakeholders, including the Government of Canada, our industry and education partners and many, many others. To find out more about our sponsorship opportunities and discuss what could best suit your organization, please contact: Gail Vent, Director, Business Development and Marketing, Skills/ Compétences Canada, at 1-877-754-5226 ext. 507, [email protected].

To stay up to date with SCNC Québec 2021, go to: www.skillscanada.com .
In dustry News and Stories
UA Canada Supports the Efforts of All!
As we approach our eight h year as a Presenting Sponsor of the Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC), our excitement and dedication to this event has only grown stronger. The relations hips which have been created with all the groups and the hard work which is being done every day by the Skills / Compétences Canada s taff and the o rganization has been second to none. UA Canada shares a lot of the same core values as Skills Canada which is to p romote, e ngage, s upport and m entor today's generation by highlighting the skilled trades as a very rewarding opportunity that is in high demand.
The promoti on of skilled trades will continue to be a topic of discussion as we see the advancements in technology and how important it is to grow collectively to meet the future demand . Engaging our youth to better understand that apprenticeship and the s killed trades and technology sector s are a viable alternative to attending University is key in creating awareness of the many opportunities in these fields. Everyone at SCNC are committed to the future of our Canadian youth ; from the sponsors to the volunteers who dedicate countless hours of their time so that this experience is a positive one. We hope that you will join us as at the next SCNC as we celebrate the achievements of competitors from across Canada who will be here showcasing their skills and dedication to their craft.
Contributed by: UA Canada

Mind Over Metal Camp Wrap-up Celebration at Orangeville District Secondary School 
Recently 20 grade eight students participated in a Mind over Metal Camp at Orangeville District Secondary School. They celebrated their wins and learnings with their parents, instructors, and high-school student volunteers at a dinner that was held at the school upon completion on November 28, 2019.   
One of the camp instructors, Richard Alexander , has been a welding instructor for more than 14 years and brings his passion for the trade into the classroom every day. "I love that welding is what you put into it ," said Alexander . " Anyone can weld, but to weld well, it takes time. You need the perseverance to excel in one process and when you have the choice, learn more. "  
This is the second camp hosted at Orangeville District Secondary School, and Alexander gives credit to the high - school volunteers who have helped keep this initiative alive through their support and encouragement of the younger students. 
Welding instructor Richard Alexander (right) interacts with students at a Mind over Metal Camp celebration at Orangeville District Secondary School.
CWB Welding Foundation Mind over Metal Camps began with a pilot camp in 2014, and serves to change the perceptions of youth and their parents about careers in welding. The camps have helped more than 3,500 students since their inception. Through these initiatives, the CWB Welding Foundation aims to create awareness and promote welding as an exciting, safe, and well-paying career option. Learn more at www.cwbweldingfoundation.org  
Contributed by: CWB Welding Foundation

Rhys Eastham Shares his Career Journey at Volvo Construction Equipment 
Interview with Uptime Services Director at Volvo Construction Equipment, Rhys Eastham, who started in the field nearly 20 years ago as a diesel tech at Volvo Construction Equipment. 
Rhys has been in the role of Director of Uptime and technical services for the past six years. He ensures their dealers have the tools needed to repair machines in order to maximize uptime. Rhys has been around heavy equipment his entire life as his dad worked for another manufacturer while he was growing up. He developed an interest in large scale machines early on as they always had antique engines in their garage when he was younger.   
Mr. Eastman believes that in order to attract more people to the skilled trades and technologies, it is important to show youth what the future of this industry looks like as automation will play a bigger role in the future and machines will be transformed into computers. He also feels they need to transition their programs to peak the interests of  the next generation of technicians. His advice to youth is to look at all options before choosing a career path. Everyone has to start somewhere to build their future. This is a large industry which can open many doors and take you anywhere in the world.   
Rhys believes a strong support system has allowed him to be successful in his role and is grateful to his wife for providing a solid home life. In his spare time, he is a firefighter and Lieutenant with Carlisle Fire and Rescue.
Contributed by: Volvo Construction Equipment 
Pivot Point Supports Skills Canada National Competition
We look forward to seeing all of the competitors at SCNC Québec 2021 shine!  
Contributed by: Pivot Point

Reaction to a First Experience at WorldSkills 
Last summer, several staff members of ConsuLab went to Kazan, Russia to provide support for the 2019 WorldSkills Competition. As official suppliers of training support for the event, we brought members of our engineering and production teams to Russia.  
Martin Vallières was a member of our production team who took part in this event. He tells us that the WorldSkills Competition changed his life, not just because he flew to the other side of the world but because he was able to see first-hand the passion and skill levels of the competitors.
Consulab was a proud supporter of WorldSkills Kazan 2019. 

"For my first time at this kind of event, I can tell you that it was a truly enriching experience that has changed the way I see our products," he said. "Having seen how 36 young people from different countries and different levels of schooling work at their tasks, I have a better understanding of how we can improve our products."  
Martin Vallières was one of seven ConsuLab employees who made the long trip to Russia to provide support at the WorldSkills Competition. This hands-on support is what motivates ConsuLab and is the foundation of our business planning.    
"I saw with my own eyes how important these skills are for Canadian industry . In my opinion, high-level comp e titions such as the WorldSkills Competition lead to a level of excellence and an instinct for analysis that gives these competitors great cr e dibilit y in their field, and opens exciting career possibilities for them , " concludes Martin Vallières .  
Contributed by: Consulab
A Career in the Trades is your Ticket to an Exciting Future
"You can be anything you want!" The career path for youth is full of possibilities. Many students have already decided that t he skilled trades are where they want to be - great salary, job security, working on exciting projects. But did you know that being a tradesperson can also be a stepping stone to other rewarding options ?  
Youth in trades have the freedom to build a career path that can go far beyond working with tools . They can move up within a company , be a project manager, start their own business , or be a n instructor . There are varied c hoices that provid e a good living and help a new generation of apprentices.   
The skilled trades aren't solely about construction - the field's evolving with technological innovations. Many industries like technology, entertainment, marine, agriculture, hospitality, beauty , and aer ospace need qualified trades professionals .    
Earning a trades certification can give youth an edge when explor ing other fields like engineering, construction management, technology, and manufacturing. C arpentry skills can be useful in civil engineering; electrical skills in renewable energy, technology, and instrumentation engineering. Certified tradesp eople also have great careers in education, government services , and civil defense.   
W hatever your strengths - creative, analytical, mechanical , dexterous , inventive - there's a trade for you at itabc.ca .  

Contributed by: Industry Training Authority (ITA)

SCNC 2020 Presenting Sponsors
SCNC 2020 Premier Sponsors


SCNC 2020 Official Sponsors
SCNC 2020 Supporting Sponsors
      Supporting Sponsors_Final

Try-A-Trade® and Technology Partners
Multi-Year Suppliers

Click here for a list of all sponsors and suppliers for SCNC Vancouver 2020.
Views or opinions of contributors presented in this e-newsletter do not necessarily represent the position of Skills/Compétences Canada.