Students exhibit skills at provincial competition

Stephen Brun
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[Summerside, PEI] - Most of the students hoping to take first prize in this competition could likely make the gold medals themselves.

Westisle student Lucas Gaudet competed in carpentry at the Skills Canada provincial competition at Slemon Park, Prince Edward Island on March 8.

The Holland College aerospace centre at Slemon Park (Prince Edward Island) is hosting the Skills Canada provincial competition this week (March 8).

High school and post-secondary students from across the Island have the chance to show off their skills in trades like carpentry, mechatronics, electrical wiring, cabinet making and automotives.

Tawna MacLeod, executive director of Skills Canada P.E.I., said the event is gaining participants each year.

"All of our competitions are completely full," she said.

"As the competitions become more widely known and teachers in the high schools learn more about it, there definitely is an increase with regard to support, and the teachers are encouraging their students to get involved and compete."

High school students competed in Thursday's (March 8) events, while post-secondary students will try their hand at the competition today (March 9). Similar competitions took place throughout the past week at about seven different venues across the Island.

The public is welcome to stop by the aerospace centre throughout the day to check out the students' work.

Skills Canada's mandate is to promote trades and technology as career opportunities for Island youth through events like this one.

MacLeod said more Grade 10 students are increasingly entering the competition, which typically attracts students in their senior year.

Skills Canada P.E.I. has also noticed an uptick in the number of female students interested in trades.

"We have one (female competitor) in cabinet making, and one competitor in automotive today, which we normally don't see at the high school level," she said. "(That's) two more than we had last year."

The top three students in each of the events will receive their medals at a ceremony next Wednesday. Each of the gold-medal winners earns a spot on Team P.E.I. for Skills Canada's upcoming national competition. 

"We have one post-secondary training institute as opposed to a dozen in Ontario and the provinces out west, so they definitely have a bigger market," MacLeod said. "Last year we took home seven medals... so I have no qualms whatsoever that we'll do P.E.I. proud at the national level."

Journal Pioneer



Organizations: Holland College, Team P.E.I. for Skills Canada

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Slemon Park, Canada Ontario

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