Talking up trades and trends

Jeff Hiscock
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Council of Deans weighs in on how best to turn out skilled tradespeople

People in this province know as well as anyone that today's global market is dominated by oil and gas.

So it makes sense educators are realizing that today's young tradespeople need to be prepared to compete in the industry.

"What we recognize is that with growth in the oil and gas industry comes opportunities," said Education Minister Darin King.

King addressed the Council of Deans of Trades and Apprenticeship Canada at the Delta Hotel in St. John's Thursday.

Education Minister Darin King speaks to members of the Council of Deans of Trades and Apprenticeship of Canada Thursday morning before its meeting at the Delta Hotel. - Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

People in this province know as well as anyone that today's global market is dominated by oil and gas.

So it makes sense educators are realizing that today's young tradespeople need to be prepared to compete in the industry.

"What we recognize is that with growth in the oil and gas industry comes opportunities," said Education Minister Darin King.

King addressed the Council of Deans of Trades and Apprenticeship Canada at the Delta Hotel in St. John's Thursday.

The council convened in St. John's for its annual general meeting to discuss nationwide policies and changes in the way tradespeople are educated. Much emphasis was placed on the oil and gas industry, and the growth this province is seeing in that area.

King discussed the progress being made by a skilled task force he put together to determine a mandate for education best suited to oil and gas development.

"About 90 per cent of recommendations that were laid out for government to implement have been implemented," King said.

He also discussed the challenges facing people who are leaving the province to work.

A new system has been put in place which allows young men and women working as apprentices in Alberta to transfer their hours logged to be used towards programs here.

Delegates also noted that more and more young women are entering professions that were once male-dominated.

King said one recent Department of Education-led event matched high-school girls in the workplace with women in non-traditional skilled trades in order to give young women a better idea of the types of jobs that are available.

"The intent is to promote in females occupations and careers that they traditionally would not have chosen," King said.

Cyril Organ, vice-president of academic and learner services with the College of the North Atlantic, discussed the positive changes with regard to the direction the college's trade programs are taking.

"We've made enormous strides in trades and technology over the past few years," Organ said.

"I hope this trend continues."

jhiscock@thetelegram.com

Organizations: College of the North Atlantic, Council of Deans of Trades, Delta Hotel Department of Education

Geographic location: St. John's, Alberta

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