Fall 2015 e-newsletter

In This Issue

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Message from the CEO

WorldSkills Team Canada 2015 recently participated at the 43rd WorldSkills Competition in August 2015 and brought back 5 medals and 10 medallions of excellence. I would like to congratulate Team Canada for all of their hard work and their success at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015!
The fifth annual Essential Skills Day hosted by ABC Life Literacy Canada will take place on Friday September 25th to raise awareness about the importance of workplace literacy and essential skills training. Follow-us on social media to stay up to date on the activities taking place.
National Skilled Trades and Technology Week is fast approaching and Skills / Compétences Canada's (SCC) Member Organizations will be hosting activities across Canada during this important week in order to promote and host awareness raising events around the many career opportunities in skilled trades and technology in Canada. Visit our Website for a list of activities happening in each province and territory.
Skills/Compétences Canada along with Skills USA will be hosting the 2016 WorldSkills General Assembly in October 2016, in Niagara Falls, Ontario. This 6 day event will include several committee meetings, special events and the opportunity to network with international representatives involved in vocational education. Information will be available in the following weeks. We hope to see you there!

Shaun Thorson
Chief Executive Officer
Skills/Compétences Canada In the News 

Here are some recent news clips featuring Skills/Compétences Canada and the 43rd WorldSkills Competition:

-Read this article in Hello Canada:
5 things you need to know about Mike Holmes Jr., which highlights his involvement with Skills Canada.

Check out this article: Summer camp focuses on career options , published in the Thompson Citizen. Skills Manitoba talks about the various programs they offer youth to introduce them to careers in the skilled trades.

-The Star Phoenix featured a story on Roxanne Kanak, Graphic Design Technology competitor at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015, who shared her journey leading up to the 43rd WorldSkills Competition:   Sask. Polytechnic student to compete in Brazil .

- The Journal of Commerce published the following article following the 43rd WorldSkills Competition:
Canadian skills recognized at WorldSkills 2015 in Brazil .

-The Truro Daily News interviewed Ryan Leedham, silver medal winner at WorldSkills S ã o Paulo 2015: Brookfield man wins international silver medal in aircraft maintenance at WorldSkills Competition .

-Hôtels, Restaurants et Institutions highlighted Sébastien Rémillard, Cooking competitor at the 43rd WorldSkills Competition, who spoke about his inspiring experience: Sébastien Rémillard obtient la médaille d'argent au 43e Mondial des métiers (in French only).

-Le Lézard published an article on the 2 Quebec competitors who won medals at the 43rd WorldSkills Competition:   Deux médaillés au Mondial des métiers - L'école publique québécoise se démarque une fois de plus à l'international ! (in French only).
Skills Canada News

WorldSkills São Paulo 2015
Team Canada's WorldSkills journey has now come to an end. After several months of intensive training and hard work, the 29 WorldSkills Team Canada 2015 competitors were finally ready to show their skills to the world.
On August 12th, the Competition officially started for the 1,189 international competitors. Over 200,000 students and visitors from São Paulo and beyond were able to tour the Anhembi Park and take in the WorldSkills Competition experience. In addition to the Competition, WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 offered a multitude of activities related to the skills movement including the opportunity to try out various trades and technologies.
On the evening of August 15th, Skills/Compétences Canada held a 'Canada Night' at the Pestana Hotel which was attended by WorldSkills Team Canada 2015 members along with their friends, families and distinguished guests such as Mr. Stéphane Larue, Consul General, Canadian Consulate in São Paulo. This was an opportunity to celebrate Team Canada's hard work and dedication over the past two years.
On August 16th, everyone gathered for the Closing Ceremony where the winners were announced and invited on-stage to receive their medals.
Overall, the event was a phenomenal success for both spectators and Competitors. 
WorldSkills Team Canada 2015 was presented with 5 Medals (2 Silver and 3 Bronze). Ryan Leedham in Aircraft Maintenance and Sébastien Rémillard in Cooking both won a Silver Medal. The following 3 competitors were awarded a Bronze Medal: Marc-Antoine Bettez, in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Ryan Green, in Heavy Vehicle Maintenance and Zachary Larose & Maxime Martineau in Mobile Robotics.
In addition, 10 other members of Team Canada were also recognized with a Medallion of Excellence, which is awarded to individuals who scored 500 or higher on a 600 point evaluation scale:
Jacob Fluker in Electrical Installations, Kendrick Howe in Plumbing and Heating, Roxanne Kanak in Graphic Design Technology, William Lebel in IT Network Systems Administration, Brandon Liang in Automobile Technology, Karine Ouellet in Confectioner/Pastry Cook, Jessica Pruneau in Hairdressing, Patricia Roque in Fashion Technology, Gabriel Santerre in Web Design and Tommy St-Martin in Welding.
Furthermore Canada's Best of Nation Award was presented to Sébastien Rémillard from Quebec City for his performance in Cooking.

Congratulations Team Canada!
Upcoming Events

September 25th is Essential Skills Day!
Join us for an Essential Skills Day Webcast on Friday, September 25th, from 2:00-2:45 pm (EST).
In honour of Essential Skills Day 2015, ABC Life Literacy Canada and UP are hosting a roundtable discussion with cross-sectoral partners to spotlight the importance of workplace literacy and essential skills for Canada and Canadians.
Roundtable participants will include:
  • Gillian Mason, President, ABC Life Literacy Canada
  • Rob Pearson, President, Canadian Society for Training and Development
    • Scott McNeil-Smith, President, Canadian Manufacturing Network
    • Shaun Thorson, CEO, Skills Canada
Moderated by Jim Warrington, Board Chair, ABC Life Literacy Canada.
The roundtable will be webcast live at the following link: www.vvcnetwork.ca/abc/20150925/.
Don't forget to Tweet about your Essential Skills Day plans #ESD2015.
National Skilled Trades and Technology Week (NSTTW) 
November 2-8, 2015
Mark your calendar! Skills/Compétences Canada (SCC) and its Member Organizations will be hosting events to raise awareness of skilled trades and technology careers to parents, youth and educators.  
This is an opportunity for all types of organizations across Canada, from businesses to educational institutions, to get involved in promoting skilled trades and technology opportunities to youth in a "hands-on" way.
SCC will be hosting an official launch for NSTTW, which will be held at the NBCC Moncton Campus on November 3rd and sponsored by TransCanada.
A list of activities happening in each province and territory will be available shortly at www.skillscanada.com . To obtain more information about these activities, please contact your provincial/territorial office.
If you are interested in partnering with us for NSTTW 2015, please contact Gail Vent at GailV@skillscanada.com.  

2016 Skills Canada National Competition

For more information, visit:

The Next WorldSkills Competition will Take Place in Abu Dhabi in 2017

The 44th WorldSkills Competition will be held on October 14-19, 2017, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates .

For more information, visit www.worldskillsabudhabi2017.com

Kazan to Host the 45th WorldSkills Competition

The city of Kazan, Russia, has been selected to host the WorldSkills Competition in 2019. The event was awarded to the City of Kazan by a vote taken at the WorldSkills General Assembly meeting held in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 10, 2015. To read more.

For more information, visit: worldskillskazan2019.org
In dustry News and Stories
Inaugural SCC Partner Educational Awards
SCC would like to acknowledge the CWA Foundation, who hosted a luncheon during SCNC for all welding competitors, judges, experts, committee members, and parents. The luncheon featured an information session followed by a presentation of a monetary award to all welding competitors  in support of their educational pursuits. 
Additionally, the Gene Haas Foundation awarded medalists in Precision Machining and CNC Machining with bursaries towards their educational pursuits in their respective trades.
Congratulations to all recipients!

5 Questions on Apprenticeship for UA Canada

What tangible benefits are there in having a national apprenticeship program in place for Canada?
Apprenticeship training programs do more than just train a new set of workers. The difference in true Apprenticeship from any other form of training delivery method is that it not only trains a new trades worker in hands on skills, but it imparts the understanding of systems and design, ability to troubleshoot and repair and enables the worker to adjust to many types of new technology and multiple systems, even though they have not seen them before. The transfer of this type of level of skill only happens when a skilled Journeyperson with many years of experience in the field takes a new worker and imparts their knowledge base through this mentor/mentee relationship to the new worker while they are learning the hands on skills required. The in school technical training that is received augments this knowledge base, but it is the one on one mentoring of skills, thought processes, ability to adapt quickly to changing schedules and types of work performed that makes for a future skilled Journeyperson. This system is as old as mankind with the first Apprenticeship contracts being drafted over 3000 years ago.
2.     How important are unions in terms of ensuring that apprentices receive adequate training and how would you describe the impact of unions, on a historical basis, in shaping and developing Apprenticeship programs in Canada?
Unions have a vested interest in ensuring qualified Apprentices fro industry, because when they take a new member into the union there are two responsibilities for that person. One is a legal responsibility that says that we must look after the health and well-being of that member and represent them the same as all of our members, and the second is a moral responsibility, which we take very seriously, to ensure they have work opportunity and training for a bright future. Our organization has been in place for over 125 years. The British North America Act that passed power from British rule over to the Country of Canada originally had language in it that included the responsibility of the newly elected government of Canada was to provide tradespeople to build this new country of Canada. In the many revisions of the BNA that was removed and reworded and that is where we came in. We have a responsibility to ensure that there is a future skilled workforce that can keep Canada moving, and that is a large part of our mandate.
3.     What do you feel are the consequences of not having a properly funded Apprenticeship training program for Canada?
Apprenticeship training is the key to the future of the country, with no one disputing that fact. What most people outside the Apprenticeship community do not fully understand is the real need for the previous generation to train the next one. This transition from older experienced mentors for our new recruits is the basis of creating the talented people we have in our industry. They learn things that are not included in any textbooks and cannot be learned at training institutes. Most organizations including the government of Canada agree that 80% of the Apprentices training will originate on the worksite. However what makes a truly excellent tradesperson is the balance of theoretical and worksite training which augments their theoretical understanding of systems and design of piping systems. A Steamfitter for instance has to understand the operation of power plants, nuclear facilities, gas plants, refineries, etc. They also have to understand the principles of operation and even start up procedures for boilers pumps, turbines, medical gas units, refrigeration systems, and etc. They also have to install them from scratch in some cases. The Government of Canada has to provide an administration agency responsible for ensuring the full scope of training and delivery models, and funding requirements and infrastructure requirements for all of the thousands of Apprentices across Canada. This comes from ESDC and the Red Seal Secretariat. Without them to ensure the quality standard the system would surely fail and Canada as a result would fail along with it.

4.     What are some of the more common Essential Skills that Apprentices typically learn on the job?

Apprentices learn by working with their Journeyperson, how to communicate with the Foreman/Supervisor to plan work effectively, organize their workplace, select correct tools and equipment, ensure safe working conditions with permits etc., plan the work flow, coordinate with other trades that are in the same workspace or surrounding area, set up realistic work schedules for completion, and explain this process to others. Once they have completed initial planning they have to start the work and complete it with the schedule in mind, and be able to change the plan and complete all of their work according to specific codes and standards for building, plants, piping materials and systems etc., according to customer requirements. Once complete they have to clean their work area, inspect and repair any equipment that was damaged during the work and remove all excess material from the workspace before beginning to plan for further work. All of this is completed while several hundred or even thousand other workers are completing work on the same systems, in the same area. The essential skills required for this type of work include multiple forms of communication and planning and when they are not effectively implemented the work suffers and the schedule fall behind.
5.     Looking forward, how do you think apprenticeship programs will develop in future?
We are working with the federal government ESDC (Employment and Skills Development Canada) now to enhance the system with the Strengthening the Red Seal program. This will ensure the integrity of the system with a method to not only assess workers for certification with theory exams as the Red Seal currently does, but with practical performance tests as well. A new system for developing the content and curriculum and testing for the Red Seal is also part of this program. ESDC is already working with the UA as part of the Strengthening the Red Seal program as well as some other groups of trades unions. We have been developing and delivering Apprentices to industry for over 125 years. We had Apprenticeship programs before anyone else in Canada and formalized the process. The key thing missing from the equation for change today is that industry stakeholders are not as involved in the process as they were in the past. Without the clients owners and contractors that hire apprentices and who complete the work required for the country, as part of the discussion many other special interest groups come in and do things for various reasons, and do not necessarily operate in the best interest of the apprentice. This is the whole reason for working with the Apprentice system that keeps Canada moving. We are a full time stakeholder in the process, and we work with government and industry towards making a better system, but we can't do it without industry representatives as part of the solution. We realize they have many demands on their time. Our goal is to bring these industry stakeholders into the equation, and form an apprenticeship system we can be proud of for the future.

Contributed by: UA 

The 2015 Saskachewan Robotics Team Gold Medalists Share What They Have Learned at the Skills Canada National Competition

In May, the members of the Saskatchewan Robotics team brought back the gold medal at the 2015 Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) held in Saskatoon. Skills/Compétences Canada interviewed the 4 team members; Brock Chiasson, Sean Furber, Brett Guenther and James Thiessen, along with their coach Kevin Chiasson, about their experience and how this will impact their future.

Interview with the Robotics team members:


1. How did you prepare for the matches against other provinces?


Our team sat and watched the other teams and observed the strengths and weaknesses the other teams displayed. We planned out strategies on the sidelines as we were watching the games.

2. How did your coach support you in this journey?
Mr. Chiasson provided us with resources, time and guidance with our ideas to steer us in the right direction. He was very helpful and patient with us and kept us on task while contributing to our ideas in order to see what would work.
3. How valuable has the skill competitions been for you and what did you learn?
These competitions have been very important and we are happy with the outcome of our robot and winning a gold medal. It was a lot of fun and we are hoping to be there next year. We have learned what it takes to compete at the national level and how to work effectively under pressure.

4. How do you think being a part of the Robotics team will impact your future career choices?


It is a great experience to begin with and it will look fairly nice on a resume when it comes to getting a job. You learn a lot of skills in robotics such as teamwork, how to work with electronics and machinery, and the importance of brainstorming and troubleshooting.

The Robotics Team with their coach at SCNC 2015. 

Interview with the coach: Mr. Kevin Chiasson


1. Why are you so passionate about engineering and robotics?


I am naturally curious about how things work. For me to pass this on to the students is exciting. I am able to challenge them to think outside the box and to try doing things differently than what is expected. I feel this is the most exciting field to be in right now and the students get the benefit of seeing almost instant results from the work and modifications they do to their robots.

2. What do you think are the benefits of training young people and getting them familiarized with the trades?

Training the youth in skilled trades gives them confidence and a skill set for using tools and working in a work environment. I teach electrical at our school and by the time students have completed my courses and are graduate, they will have 300 hours towards the electrical trade. This means they have an advantage over others - they know the terminology of the trade and have a certain skill set with tool usage that others will not have.

3. What do students learn by competing at these competitions that they don't get in the classroom?  


Competing at SCNC gives the students a much broader picture of the trade they are in. They see how other people do things and get a better understanding of how extensive each trade can be. In a competitive environment, the students are also much more engaged and want to succeed.

4. How has this competition supported the career choices and opportunities of the students from Yorkton Regional High School who previously competed in the SCNC?


The Skills Canada National Competition increased the awareness of careers and opportunities for a lot of our students. From our robotics program, I have students who have advanced to various post - secondary institutions in the areas of electrical engineering, power engineering, instrumentation, and many other exciting fields. We have taken a number of students to nationals in the past few years and almost all of them will be working in engineering or similar fields. The competition has given them confidence and the can-do attitude that will help them throughout their career and their life.
Click here to watch a video highlighting the Saskatchewan Robotics Team  at SCNC 2015.
SCNC 2016 Presenting Partners

SCNC 2016 Education and Association Partners

SCNC 2016 Long-term Suppliers

Sponsors and Suppliers


Skills/Compétences Canada would like to thank all of its SCNC 2015 and WorldSkills Team Canada 2015 sponsors and suppliers!

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