It’s the Olympics of skilled trades. The annual Skills Canada National Competition will be hosted at the Edmonton Expo Centre this week.
About 500 students, all 21-years-old or younger and from all over the country, are in Edmonton to participate in over 40 skilled trade and technology competitions.
WATCH: A NAIT plumbing instructor discusses the program and what it means for his students to participate in the Skills Canada National Competition.
The event is demanding, with competitors required to work for 12 hours.
“What the competitors are going to be doing is roughing in a bathroom, so they’re going to be running all of the drains, all of the waterlines that associate with a shower, a toilet, a hand sink,” NAIT plumbing instructor Matt Lindberg said.
“They’re also going to be installing the hand sink and we’re going to be running water through it to make sure they don’t have any leaks. We want to make sure that everything has been run to national code.”
WATCH: Brick layers are among the many skilled trade students participating in an national competition in Edmonton this week. Kendra Slugoski was live at the event Monday morning.
The event is the only national, multi-trade and technology competition for students and apprentices in Canada.
Organizers said the competition provides hands-on work experience for young people getting into the trades as well as a chance to raise awareness about skilled trade and technology sectors.
Students had to compete at local, regional and provincial competitions in order to earn a spot at the national event in Edmonton, which serves as a qualifier for the world competition, which takes place in Russia later next year.
“It adds a lot of pressure to an already highly intense organization, so it’s going to be very, very interesting to see how that all plays out, but we’re certainly looking forward to the outcome,” Lindberg said.
Skills Canada member Richard Johnstone said the event provides a platform for young people to develop their skills and get excited about working the trades.
“We need to get these young people up there. We need to mentor them, push them as hard as we can, but guide them, help them. Don’t tell them what to do, just make sure their career is as great as we’ve all had,” Johnstone said.
WATCH: Richard Johnstone with Skills Canada talks about the national competition being held in Edmonton.