Winter 2016 e-newsletter

In This Issue

Comments or questions about this e-newsletter?   


Contact Michele Rogerson 

Join SCC on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube & Flickr 

View our photos on flickr
Message from the CEO
The end of 2016 was an eventful one for Skills/Compétences Canada (SCC). In October, the 2016 WorldSkills General Assembly was held in Niagara Falls and was co-hosted by Skills Canada and the SkillsUSA team. The event was attended by over 300 international delegates from over 50 WorldSkills member countries and regions. This impactful event included several discussions led by world-renowned keynote speakers about the importance of future skills and skills development around the globe. The Skills Canada Operations Committee and National Board of Directors also came together during this event in preparation for the 23rd Skills Canada National Competition, which will take place May 31-June 3, 2017 at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg. We hope to see you there!
In early November, the National Skilled Trades & Technology Week (NSTTW) was a great success with outstanding participation at the official launch which took place at Red River College, in Winnipeg on November 2nd. In attendance were approximately 500 students who participated in 15 hands-on Try-a-Trade® and Technology activities. The Skills Canada national office would like to thank Skills Canada Manitoba and Red River College for their great support in achieving such high student attendance numbers. SCC would also like to thank Princess Auto for sponsoring the VIP breakfast.  
With the WorldSkills Canadian Trials fast approaching the national secretariat is organizing the next steps for the trial winners. Skills Canada looks forward to officially announcing the appointment of the WorldSkills Team Canada 2017 competitors in March 2017. They will be competing  at the 44th WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi, from October 14-19, 2017. You can follow their journey on Skills Canada's new website at
On behalf of Skills Canada, its Board of Directors and its member organizations, we would like to extend our best wishes to everyone for the upcoming holiday season and we look forward to an exciting and successful 2017!
Shaun Thorson
Chief Executive Officer
Skills/Compétences Canada In the News

Here are some recent news clips featuring Skills/Compétences Canada and National Skilled Trades and Technology Week (NSTTW):

-Read this press release issued by Skills/Compétences Canada and SkillsUSA on October 6th during the 2016 WorldSkills General Assembly: 2016 WorldSkills Leaders Forum Provides New Perspectives on the Future of Skills
-View this interview clip, which aired on City TV on November 2nd, during the launch of NSTTW, which features John Oates, the President of the National Board of Directors as well as participating partners and students.

-Check out this interview on CTV Winnipeg, which aired on November 3rd and features Sherry Holmes from HGTV's Holmes Makes it Right. On this segment, Sherry talks about how she got involved in the skilled trades and highlights the upcoming 2017 Skills Canada National Competition taking place in Winnipeg, Manitoba from May 31 - June 3, 2017 at the RBC Convention Center.

-Read this press release: Province celebrates apprenticeship, career and workforce development, issued by the
Government of Manitoba on November 1st, 2016. This press release highlights important events happening in the province of Winnipeg including the launch of NSTTW 2016 and SCNC 2017.

-Read this article published in the
Cape Breton Post on November 3rd: Cape Breton female students get hands-on trades experience. This article features Cape Breton students participating in the Skills Canada Nova Scotia Skilled Futures for Women one-day workshop at the Nova Scotia Community College campus.

-Check out this article published in the Regina Leader-Post on November 2nd: Try-A-Trade event gives students a hands-on taste of the trades. This event was held in partnership with Skills Canada Saskatchewan and the Regina District Industry Education Council, during NSTTW.

-Read this article published in The Guardian on November 7th: Developing skills for their futures on P.E.I., which talks about NSTTW and Atlantic Canada Career Week, two initiatives aimed at promoting trades and technology-related careers.

-Check out this interesting article: Trades not just for the boys, published in Niagara This Week, on November 2nd which features an SCC alumni who discusses her career journey into the trades.

-Read this informative article published in MacLean's on November 3rd on 'How to be an apprentice' featuring SCC and CAF.

Skills Canada News

Launch of New Skills/Compétences Canada Website
Skills /Compétences Canada (SCC) is pleased to announce that it has recently launched its new website that features SCC's new WorldSkills branding.
Key highlights of the improved interactive website:
- Improved mobile device usage.
- Dynamic look and feel with improved graphics and functionality.
- Dedicated WorldSkills Team Canada "Follow Their Journey" section including individual biographies, training updates, partners and links to news about the team and to our 30 second WorldSkills Team Canada 2017 promotional ad.
- NEW Integrated "Canadian Collision Industry Forum" section which is a national venue for collision industry stakeholders.
- Improved partner section with partner blog.
-Improved media section with additional resources such as media kits among others.
Check out SCC's new website at:

WorldSkills Team Canada 2017 Promotional Video Coming to a Theatre Near You!
Watch the new WorldSkills Team Canada 2017 promotional ad, which highlights their participation in the upcoming 44th WorldSkills Competition, being held October 14-19, 2017, in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. The video will be aired in select Cineplex theatres across Canada from December 26 to January 9.
Click here to see the video. Go to  to follow their journey!
Skills/Compétences Canada Re-Branding
The WorldSkills movement is developing and so has their brand. In compliance with WorldSkills branding guidelines, Skills / Compétences Canada (SCC) is revisiting its brand identity to ensure consistency as well as greater recognition and awareness of this brand on a global scale.
"Skills/Compétences Canada's adoption of the WorldSkills brand reflects their continued leadership within the WorldSkills movement," said Crispin Thorold, Director of Marketing and Communications for WorldSkills International. "Uniting leading skill development organizations, together from around the globe under the WorldSkills brand, strengthens our impact to improve the world with the power of skills."
The new branding is reflected in SCC's logo, typography, colours, visual elements and imagery. In addition, the WorldSkills brand has been adopted on SCC's website and our marketing and communication materials.
2016 EuroSkills Competition in Gothenburg, Sweden
The 2016 EuroSkills Competition took place December 1-3, 2016, at the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden where 28 WorldSkills member countries and regions competed for a chance to medal. Seven guest member countries and regions participated as an element of their respective training in preparation for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, including 13 WorldSkills Team Canada 2017 Prospects.

Canada sent the following competitors:
Mechatronics: Avery Bird & Theodor Willert
CNC Milling: Silas Meeches
Electronics: Judd Foster
Electrical Installations: Daniel Nelson
Industrial Control: Ryley LaFrance
Mobile Robotics: Sean Furber & Brock Chiasson
Cabinetmaking: Scott Dombowsky-Oneski
Automobile Service: Aaron Taves
Landscape Gardening: Marilou Morin & Brandon Di Sabato
Heavy Vehicle Maintenance: Tanner Tendler
Thirteen of the WorldSkills Team Canada 2017 Prospects gather for a training opportunity at the 2016 EuroSkills Competition, in Sweden.

To see the results and additional photos of the 2016 EuroSkills Competition, please visit: .
A Table Building Challenge Launched National Skilled Trades and Technology Week

Skills/Compétences Canada launched its 12th National Skilled Trades and Technology Week (NSTTW) to create awareness for students and educators about the diverse and exciting career opportunities available in skilled trades and technologies across Canada and around the world.
Skills Canada in partnership with Red River College hosted the official launch of NSTTW on November 2nd at Red River College's Notre Dame Campus. Paul Vogt, President and CEO of Red River College along with Sherry Holmes from HGTV's Holmes Make it Right, John Oates, President of Skills/Compétences Canada and Nina Widmer, SCC alumni and silver medalist in Brick Masonry at the 2014 Skills Canada National Competition officially launched the event with an exciting pallet table building challenge hosted by Princess Auto. The Honourable Ian Wishart, Minister of Education and Training was also in attendance and gave a welcome address at the launch event.

SCC also held a VIP breakfast which was hosted by Princess Auto. The breakfast was a success with approximately 120 guests in attendance. This was a great opportunity for industry partners and special guests to network. 
Following the official launch, students from Winnipeg area schools participated in several interactive Try-A-Trade® and Technology activities including welding, industrial mechanic millwright, mechanical engineering, carpentry, workplace safety, plumbing, refrigeration, switch programming, 3-D printing, hairstyling and aesthetics, just to name a few. These activities were hosted by the following educators and SCC partners:
  • Lincoln Electric
  • CWA Foundation
  • Fixturlaser
  • Stanley DeWALT
  • McCordick, a Bunzl Company
  • Princess Auto
  • Pivot Point
  • Computers for Schools Manitoba
  • MC College
  • Red River College.
Skills/Compétences Canada also announced that the 2017 Skills Canada National Competition will be hosted in Winnipeg May 31 - June 3, 2017 at the RBC Convention Centre!
Participants of the launch challenge gather for a group photo at the Official Launch of National Skilled Trades and Technology Week, at Red River College, in Winnipeg.

The sub-theme of NSTTW was the importance of working with others, one of the nine Essential Skills identified as fundamental to entering the skilled trade and technology industries.
During the week, our provincial/territorial member organizations across the country hosted a series of events promoting skilled trade and technology activities in Canada.
To read the press release.
To see more photos.
The 2016 WorldSkills General Assembly Provides New Perspectives on the Future of Skills
Skills / Compétences Canada and SkillsUSA co-hosted the 2016 WorldSkills General Assembly last October in the beautiful city of Niagara Falls, Ontario. This was the first time this event was held in Canada and the first time two countries have co-hosted this event. The WorldSkills General Assembly brings together members of the WorldSkills organization and allows them to continue to build and advance the global skills movement.
This event included over 300 international delegates in attendance from over 50 nations who gathered with the goal of improving the world through the advancement of skills development. Participants had the opportunity to discuss trends, make decisions for the future of skills training and hear from experts on the future of skills. They also had the chance to interact with youth at the Champion's Forum and be a part of ratifying the WorldSkills vision for 2025.
One of the highlights of the WorldSkills General Assembly was the Leaders Forum, which was held on October 4th and focused on the future of skills. Participants heard from experts from industry, government, education, labour and youth on the future of education and training. They also gained knowledge and new perspectives on global education practices. Several world-renowned keynote speakers were in attendance and lead discussions on the future of technical and vocational education. Click here to read a summary of the day's discussions.
Skills Canada would like to thank the participants for attending this event and for sharing their views on the future of skills. And also a special thank you to our co-hosts SkillsUSA for their partnership and to our partners as this would not have been possible without their support!
On behalf of Skills/Compétences Canada and SkillsUSA, Sarah Watts-Rynard, Executive Director of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, welcomes delegates from around the world to the 2016 WorldSkills Leaders Forum.

Click here to read the press releases.
Click here to see additional photos.
Upcoming Events

Mark your Calendar for the 2017 Skills Canada National Competition!
The countdown is on for the 23rd Skills Canada National Competition, which will take place May 31-June 3, 2017, at the RBC Convention Centre , in the vibrant city of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Known as the "cultural cradle of Canada," Winnipeg is Manitoba's cosmopolitan capital city.

The Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) is the only national, multi-trade and technology competition for students and apprentices in the country. Every year, more than 500 young people from all regions of Canada come to SCNC to participate in over 40 skilled trade and technology contests in six sectors including construction, employment, information technology, manufacturing and engineering, services and transportation.

By providing a forum where Canadian youth can compete at the national level, SCNC provides hands-on experience related to skilled trade and technology careers. Through these competitions, Skills/Compétences Canada seeks to raise the awareness of the skilled trade and technology sectors to Canadian youth and their influencers.

Visitors will have the opportunity to participate in over 40 Try-A-Trade® and Technology activities. These  activities enable visitors to put their skills to the test and get a feel for the trades. Participants will complete small projects that expose them to components of various trades, such as bricklaying, electrical wiring and cooking, just to name a few. There will also be an Essential Skills Stage showcasing a number of interactive activities highlighting the Essential Skills (ES) and an ES passport for visitors to fill out for a chance to win a special prize!

As always, admission to the Competition is free and it's open to the public
. School visit registration and bus subsidy information is available at . Click here for more information on SCNC 2017.

Skills/Compétences Canada invites you to be a part of our competition as a Career Zone exhibitor.
Register now and receive a $100 early bird discount! The deadline for early bird registration is January 31, 2017.
Over 60 of Canada's top employers, associations, labour groups, training institutes and government partners will comprise the Career Zone with exhibit booths and interactive activities for all attendees.

Register now to reserve your discounted booth and/or advertising space in the official SCNC Program Guide.

The Countdown is on for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017!
At the 2016 Skills Canada National Competition, the highest-ranking age eligible medalist in each applicable skill area were selected to compete in the WorldSkills Canadian Trials, which will be held in January and February of 2017. Those who reach pre-established Canadian standards will be named to WorldSkills Team Canada 2017 and will participate in the upcoming 44th WorldSkills Competition. The official members of WorldSkills Team Canada 2017 will be announced in March 2017.
The WorldSkills Competition, held every two years, is the biggest vocational, education and skills excellence event in the world that truly reflects global industry standards. The competitors representing the best of their generation are selected from skills competitions held in 76 WorldSkills member countries and regions. The next WorldSkills Competition will take place from October 14-19, 2017, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).
WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 is expected to be the largest WorldSkills Competition yet, with 1,300 competitors from  76 member countries and regions who will be competing for the title of world champion. There will be over 50 skill competitions, in six sectors, including Construction and Building Technology, Creative Arts and Fashion, Information and Communication Technology, Manufacturing and Engineering Technology, Social and Personal Services and Transportation and Logistics. The 44th WorldSkills Competition will be the biggest event ever held at ADNEC, attracting around 10,000 international visitors and 150,000 from the UAE.

For more information about this event including an event guide, FAQs and delegates packages, visit

In dustry News and Stories
Your First Choice
"a view or opinion that is incorrect because it is based on faulty thinking or understanding"
A career in a "construction" skilled trade is an opportunity that should not be overlooked.
Though the landscape has changed regarding career paths and the recognition of skilled trades as a viable option, many potential candidates may be discouraged from "settling" for this path if they are considered high-achievers. Unfortunately, the stereotype of trades being an avenue meant for non-academics is still held in the minds of many. Consequently, top scoring students, whom could excel in a skilled trade career path, are given guidance to seek other choices for their future.
Where does this start?
Could it be a well meaning, but misinformed guidance counsellor, parent or teacher? One or a combination of all could be the case. With the present drive to change the perception of the trades, some key myths need to be debunked:

1. Myth: "If you don't do well in school, the best path is the skilled trades."  

: Advanced level achievements in math and science are two key points that are common to almost every skilled construction trade.

Plumbers, Pipefitters/Steamfitters, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics, Sprinklerfitters and Welders to name a few; dig deep into mathematical and scientific concepts. From thermodynamics to trigonometry, they put the numbers to work for them in real-life applications to solve complex problems, designing, installing and servicing projects that range from thousands to billions in investment dollars. The United Association is an international pipe trades union that employs a responsible recruitment strategy that tests the aptitude of candidates to assess their potential for success in the skilled trades.   


2. Myth: "If you are in a trade, it is probably because you couldn't get a better job."


Reality: Skilled tradespersons know that the trades offer sustainable careers that provide many avenues for advancement.

As knowledge of the opportunities and challenges offered by employment in the trades spreads, many "academics" are choosing skilled trades for their future. The competition to enter this field is growing and so are the applicants for apprenticeship. There are many university graduates that have left the field that they studied to pursue the more promising prospects offered through apprenticeship. "Earning while you learn" has been a great incentive in that apprentices that complete their tenure can move to Journeyperson status free of debt. The same cannot be said for other traditional career paths. The opportunities for advancement within the United Association includes managers, superintendents, project managers, owners and college professors to name a few.   

3. Myth: "When you hire a skilled tradesperson, you are paying for their labour."   


Reality: When you are paying for a skilled trades professional, you are not just paying for their physical efforts. You are also paying for their knowledge."

The construction and servicing of buildings, refineries, power plants and many other structures requires expertise that cannot be learned at weekend courses. Through a combination of fieldwork and extensive in-class training, the United Association ensures that the crafts and their encompassed knowledge are passed from generation to generation. The resulting professional cannot be replaced with an assembly line model. A licensed tradesperson works efficiently with awareness of how to maximize safety, productivity and quality for the end product. Skilled tradespeople make exceptional incomes because of the value added from their understanding of systems and their operation as a whole. They can apply complex theories to reality, working proactively not reactively. They know the nuances of how all parts come together as pieces of an elaborate puzzle to work safely and dependably. With this value often comes great reward.

4. Myth: "Tradespeople don't have to do much schooling."


Reality: "To achieve their true potential skilled tradespersons, even after achieving their license, continue to attend training, expanding their knowledge base and pursuing related certifications."

During their apprenticeship, skilled trades apprentices are required to attend several levels of trade school. The curriculum taught includes all facets of the trade and consists of both theoretical and practical training. The tools learned in the classroom are then applied in the field. This represents a minimum requirement of the apprenticeship model but does not encompass all class time. Due to the construction and related service industry's continuous evolution, skilled tradespeople regularly attend training to upgrade their skills and stay abreast of the latest in technologies.
Considering the direction of construction in Canada, it is clear that the skilled trades have a bright future. The United Association has been promoting skilled trades as an option of choice for over 125 years. Representing Plumbers, Pipefitters/Steamfitters, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics, Sprinklerfitters and Welders, the UA spends more on training the future skilled trades of Canada than any other organization.
Changing perceptions will take time, but it has already begun. High achievers are recognizing this path as a career of choice, one that will offer rewards not easily found elsewhere. For those that apply themselves with continued training, the "sky is the limit".
Contributed by: UA
 How to "Te(a)ch" in a different reality
While it is important to offer opportunities for youth to develop the digital skills they need to contribute to Canadian economic development, access to the appropriate learning tools may be challenging in some parts of Canada that face economic, social or geographical constraints. This is where teaching/training models must take a creative turn.

The "Te(a)ch" program in Nunavut, which was just awarded the prestigious Arctic Inspiration Award, is a good example. In a territory where Computer Science is not taught at any level, te(a)ch is a step to provide youth with equal learning opportunities in the digital economy.

In collaboration with the Pinnguaq Association in Nunavut, CFSC is overseeing this initiative, which aims to enable youth in Nunavut communities to learn coding, computer science and game design.

The goal of Te(a)ch is to introduce, foster, and encourage youth in every community to understand, control, and create with the technology that surrounds them.

Through the roll-out of laptops and onsite training, the pilot will support the creation of sustainable knowledge and skills acquisition. The purpose is to establish a permanent online infrastructure that allows up-to-date and relevant technology lessons/curricula targeted at Nunavut youth.

This program, which builds on the initial Nunavut Code Club, creates benefits that expand well beyond teaching how a computer works. It is a program about capacity building in every community. Once fully established, it will become the first and only tech-based curriculum developed for Nunavummiut, one that speaks to their specific reality.

Contributed by: CFSC-OPEC and Pinnguaq

Internships Help Youth Gain the Skills that Employers Covet Most

When considering recent graduates for entry-level positions, many employers look for real-world experience from their candidates. Workplace skills cannot be achieved by only spending time in the classroom.

One of the best resources available to youth to gain the transferable, cross-cutting skills that employers covet most is to participate in internships. During an internship, they have the ability to engage in multiple projects and interact with employees, enabling them to diversify their skills set.

Through the Youth Internship (YI) program at Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), CFSC has been hiring social media interns to support the Computers for Schools (CFS) program at the provincial and national levels.

These interns are tasked with managing social media platforms, supporting web activities and creating online marketing campaigns. They get to interact not only to people in their office but with stakeholders in the program across Canada.

"I am grateful for this opportunity to broaden my skills and grow my
competencies. Working with CFSC allowed me to gain essential skills. My internship has greatly improved my professional profile, and was an excellent way to start my career", said Andy upon completing his internship with CFSC.

Additionally, the Technical Work Experience Program (TWEP), which is funded through the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy, provides employment to hundreds of youth in CFS refurbishing centres across the country every year. Anton, a TWEP program alumnus said his internship provided him with the opportunity to get experience related to his career, which in turn gave him a very good start as a newcomer to Canada.

Youth hired by the TWEP program have gained and continue to gain experience relevant to future careers in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector through hands-on training in computer refurbishment activities, software testing and other related work.

CFS is a national program that refurbishes and delivers, at little or no cost, technology from government organizations, private businesses and individuals, in support of digital inclusion and economic development. Computers are distributed to schools and non-profit organizations supporting youth, seniors, low-income Canadians, new Canadians, Indigenous people and other eligible recipients across Canada.
Submitted by CFSC-OPEC

Happy Holidays from Skills Canada!

SCNC 2017 Presenting Sponsors  
Essential Skills School Engagement Sponsor
Premier Sponsor 

SCNC 2017 Official Sponsors 

SCNC 2017 Supporting Sponsors 

Try-A-Trade® and Technology Partners

Educational and Association Partners

Long-term Suppliers

WorldSkills Team Canada 2017 Official Partners

WorldSkills Team Canada 2017 Official Funding Partner

Click here for a list of all sponsors and suppliers for SCNC 2017.  
Click here for a list of all sponsors and suppliers for the 2017 WorldSkills Competition. 

Views or opinions of contributors presented in this e-newsletter do not necessarily represent the position of Skills/Compétences Canada.