Future Fixers: B.C. schools take part in Skills Canada competitions

Vancouver Island, British Columbia ⁠— Students from secondary and post-secondary schools across British Columbia have been hard and work the last few weeks, showing off their trades skills at Skills Canada B.C.’s regional competitions.

On Feb. 21, 240 competitors from 17 schools across northern Vancouver Island came together at Georges P. Vanier Secondary to compete in subjects ranging from welding and automotive to photography and web design⁠—there was even a spaghetti bridge building contest for the junior crowd!

Paul Herman took home gold for his automotive skills, and Brody Laderoute came out on top in the welding competition. Jackson Roy-Penzer scored gold for being a workplace safety whiz.

Last Thursday, about 500 students from central Island region high schools and the Sunshine Coast arrived at Vancouver Island University (VIU) to test their skills in the 2020 Skills Canada regional competitions. 

Automotive students from Brittania Secondary swept the podium in their segment, with all three of the podium spots occupied by the high school’s students.

On Feb. 28, central Okanagan Valley students headed to Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus for yet another regional competition. 

Further Skills Canada automotive competitions will be held on Mar. 5 at University of the Fraser Valley, Chilliwack; Mar. 6 at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Cloverdale campus in Surrey; Mar. 6 at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops; Mar. 6 at Coast Mountain College, Terrace; and Mar. 11 at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Burnaby.

Each year, Skills Canada’s provincial branches hold several Olympic-style regional trade and technology competitions. The competitions hold two main purposes; first, to celebrate and reward students for excellence in their mastery of skilled trade and technology skills in a manner that directly involves the industry in evaluating student performance and that keeps training relevant to employers’ needs. The second is to create an interactive and engaging environment for the thousands of young people who attend the competitions as spectators.

Gold medal winners from B.C.’s regional competitions will move on to compete in the provincial contests, to be held April 15 in Abbotsford. Winners of the provincial competition will move on to Canada’s national competition, to be held May 28-29 in Vancouver.

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