THE NEXT WORKFORCE
One of the greatest successes of apprenticeship is the many partnerships that exist to create skilled journeypersons.
To celebrate that success, the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) held the seventeenth annual Apprenticeship Awards ceremony on October 27th. The awards recognized 34 journeypersons who achieved the highest marks on the journeyperson exam in their designated trades between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.
"It was pretty cool," said Casey Fitzsimmons, Outstanding Journeyperson in the Sheet Metal Worker trade. "It was very surprising, and very meaningful for all the hard work and hours I put in."
More than 400 people were in attendance at the event, where additional awards were presented to apprentices, employers, instructors, and Skills Canada Saskatchewan competition gold medal winners.
"I was really proud and honoured because I knew it was for women in non-traditional trades," said Cassandra Lasko of the Wendy Davis Memorial Scholarship she received.
The awards were supported by many industry sponsors.
"Supporting the apprenticeship awards is important because it recognizes the young people who have chosen to become journeypersons, or masters in their craft," said John Lax of the Saskatchewan Construction Association, a Platinum sponsor. "That's critically important to the economy and the development of our province, in terms of both the capacity and the quality of work."
In addition to the awards celebrated that evening, there were 100 high school students who received a Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship (SYA) Industry Scholarship at their Grade 12 graduation ceremonies.
Each year we hope many high school graduates decide to pursue a post-secondary education through an apprenticeship that will lead them to careers in the skilled trades. The skilled trades give people a chance to work with their hands and solve problems, to be creative and perform tangible, meaningful work; and to support themselves and their families.
"At Saskatchewan Apprenticeship, we promote the skilled trades as a first-choice career option, and apprenticeships as a way for young people to receive a combination of on-the-job and classroom training leading to certification," said Jeff Ritter, CEO of Saskatchewan Apprenticeship. "One of the ways to encourage and support young people entering the trades is through the SYA program, and the scholarship."
The SYA Industry Scholarship is set up to reward Saskatchewan students who have completed the SYA program, and have decided to pursue careers in the skilled trades.
In order to redeem their $1,000 scholarship, students need to begin their career journeys within two years of high school graduation-either by apprenticing with an employer and finishing Level 1 technical training, or by completing a pre-employment program.
The scholarship fund is administered by the SATCC, but the bulk of the funds are donated by industry organizations who believe in the apprenticeship system and the importance of supporting our future workforce.
Since the scholarship's inception in 2009-10, more than 40 organizations have donated $680,000 to the scholarship fund. The SATCC is looking to add to its list of donors. In the past, donations have ranged from $1,000 to $100,000, so organizations are able to choose an amount that fits within the budget.
A $10,000 donation means that
the sponsor will receive a named scholarship that will be awarded to a new graduating student every year for 10 years. Similarly, a $1,000 donation means that they will receive one named scholarship for one year. Industry donations helped fund the 100 SYA Industry Scholarships awarded to SYA graduates across the province in the spring of 2017.
"We need your help promoting the trades to our province's young people," said Ritter. "Your contribution will help ensure that Saskatchewan's youth continue to discover the rewards offered by the skilled trades."