Highlights from the Provincial Skills Canada Competition
The Olympics of trades showcases future workforce
The 2018 Provincial Skills Canada Competition is underway in Edmonton and more than 60 SAIT students and apprentices are competing for the chance to represent Alberta at the national level of the competition.
SAIT wins big at 2018 Provincial Skills Competition
Our competitors stacked the hardware last week at the 2018 Skills Canada Alberta Competition — more than half of SAIT's team of 66 students and apprentices earned medals.
"Congratulations to all of our outstanding SAIT competitors and the members of team SAIT who helped train for these events," says Nino Belvedere, Apprenticeship/Skills Coordinator.
The gold medallists will be moving on to the Skills National Competition in Edmonton from June 4 - 5.
|Heavy Equipment Service|
|IT - Office Applications|
|Mechatronics (Teams of two)|
|Painting & Decorating|
Competitor Jordin Dittmer aligns brick on the back side of his structure. His instructor, Richard Kokitilo, who teaches out of SAIT's Edmonton campus says he's seen great improvements in Dittmer's masonry skills."It takes lots of practice - becoming a skilled bricklayer doesn't happen overnight," says Kokitilo "All of my students have made big progress from when they first laid a brick."All four competitors in the Bricklaying competition are from SAIT - guaranteeing a podium sweep.
Electrical Installations competitors Brandon Lepka and Brandon Whittington work away in their neighbouring stations on day two of competition.Gold is the goal, but it's not the only valuable asset competitors can walk away with. Participants can add their Skills involvement to their co-curricular record, which showcases the skills students gain through volunteering, club membership, mentoring, tutoring and more."Having Skills on their co-curricular record shows future employers they went above and beyond their studies," Says David Peard, Electrical Instructor in the MacPhail School of Energy. "That is a big plus."
The scaffolding by the carpentry area gives a full view of the competitors - including SAIT's Scott Linseth and Annabelle Cherry. Training since April, they will build a playhouse from start to finish in 14 hours.Overseeing the area is Ron Boloski, Instructor in the School of Construction, who has been involved with Skillsfor 12 years when he began working at SAIT.
"There was an employee at a company I used to work at who competed at Skills," he says, "When my colleague got involved, I wanted to get involved - teaching at SAIT gave me that opportunity."
Boloski adds the competition has lasting benefits beyond the two day event. "The main takeaway is that it prepares them for industry - from critical thinking to project management."
Charli Handy has been coaching Skills competitors for two years and it was Samantha Guay, pictured above, who inspired her to get involved with the competition."Samantha was in my first year class. She was competing at Skills in the high school category even though she had just started at SAIT," she says. "When she came back and I found out she was at Skills, I had to be involved. I've been here ever since with her."Handy and Guay trained monthly - moving to a bi-weekly schedule once it got closer to the time of the competition. Guay refined the skills she practiced at work with her bosses. Handy tries to let potential competitors know about the doors that open up after Skills."I try and get them excited about the possibilities," she says. "Not only is it a great experience, but it looks really good on a resume." -She adds it doesn't matter if you medal or not, the experience alone gives you a leg up in the eyes of employers.
Day one highlights
Jamie Fryklund begins dismantling an automation machine for the Mechatronics competition — day one's task is set to be six hours long. Fryklund and teammate Keith Shawara competed alongside Laine Van Hardeveld and Alexander Wilkinson, SAIT's second Mechatronics team.The two teams have been training more than eight months in preparation. Read about their journey to Skills and what it takes to be prepared for the provincial and national competitions.
Under the watchful eye of Instructor Doug Sontag, Darby Grady works on his welding project — constructing a metal dump truck — behind a protective curtain. Grady took home gold at last year's provincial competition and is looking to add to his medal count.Sontag, who has been involved with Skills since 2009, says his three competitors — Grady, Doran Nielsen and Nicholas Walther — have been training three days a week for the last three months."Even more in the last two weeks," he says. "They've been training almost every day."
Grady pauses between welds to ham it up for the camera.
Refrigeration competitor Cassidy Lindseth focuses on his first task. Starting with loose components, he has to assemble them to build a freezer that must reach a temperature of 0°F.The SAIT competitor will invest 12 hours — 10 for assembly and two for troubleshooting — over the course of the two-day competition.Sweets were on the menu at the baking competition. Moulded chocolates created by SAIT competitors Nina Albright (left) and Katherine Quinton (right) stopped several bystanders in their tracks.In addition to the picturesque chocolates, Albright, Quinton and their fellow competitors will be making a mousse-style cake with mystery box ingredients, miniature pastries of their choosing and a sugar presentation piece over the course of the competition.Skills competitors aren't the only ones getting hands on. Try-a-trade stations such as SAIT's Aerospace Technology booth are giving attendees a chance to see what a skill actually entails. With help from SAIT instructors and students — including Aircraft Structures Technician graduate Tom Schroeder — participants insert rivets into a metal aircraft keychain."Most people don't know how an airplane is put together," says Schroeder, who is also a flight instructor. "This shows them what a rivet is and how easy it is to put one in place. They can see a key component of how the airplane is held together."