Skills Canada National Competition aims to get students interested in trades

Click to play video 'Skills competition hopes to inspire youth into the trades' Skills competition hopes to inspire youth into the trades
WATCH ABOVE: Hundreds of students gathered in Halifax for the Skills Canada National Competition. As Global’s Shelley Steeves reports, the ultimate goal is to inspire youth to enter the trades.

More than 500 youth from across Canada gathered at the Moncton Coliseum Monday to participate in over 40 skilled trade and technology competitions.

The Skills Canada National Competition provides youth with hands-on experience in trade and technology careers that are sometimes overlooked in the school systems.

“If you have every heard of the Canada Games or the Olympic Games — well compare that, but not for sports, for skilled trades and technologies,” said Luc Morin, executive director of Skills Canada New Brunswick.

He says this forum is not all about traditional trades, like welding and plumbing, how gives students an opportunity to show their stuff in a myriad of trades.

”We have some things that are very manufactured-type sectors, such as pipe-fitter and industrial mechanics and plumbing, and then we will have the other end — the service end, where we have cooking, baking, aesthetics and hair styling.”

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Cyril Sacoobie represents the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design in Fredericton. His booth featuring arts and culture was one of the busiest at the event.

“I am part of the Aboriginal visual arts program that we do basketry, carvings, all kinds,” Sacoobie said.

Students and apprentices from colleges across the country will compete for the next two days.

Lorin says the ultimate goal is to encourage more young people to study a trade. He says young skilled trades workers are in short supply, especially in the Maritimes.

“We want to expose this to the students let them know it’s cool … we want these youth to know that we need them in the future and these are the best of the best,” Lorin said.

The Skills Canada National Competition is the only national trade and technology competition for students and apprentices in the country.