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3 May 2017

Canadian PM champions skills development in hands-on fashion

Competitors and volunteers at the centre of a Canadian east coast celebration of skills received some top-level support – from one of the world’s most recognizable political figures.

The Nova Scotia Skills Canada Provincial Competition welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose visit saw him not just meet with participating students and apprentices, but also take a hands-on approach to raising the profile of vocational skills - by getting involved in a carpentry project.

Held at the Nova Scotia Community College in Halifax, the event showcased a range of disciplines including architectural technology and design, graphic design, and photography. The skills program and Competition are designed to encourage young people to pursue trades and careers in technology, with the winners moving on to take part in the Skills Canada National Competition in Winnipeg in June.

Speaking at the Competition, Mr Trudeau emphasized the Government of Canada’s interest in, and commitment to, skills development, continuous learning and innovation. “By getting the skills they need for good, middle-class jobs here on the East Coast, Nova Scotians can settle down and raise their families in the hometowns they grew up in.”

He also stressed the importance of developing the right skills, abilities, and focus to meet the demands of the modern job market, and having the talents that employers want and need. “People need to upgrade their training in order to remain competitive,” he told the students. “The skills of five years ago may not be relevant today.”

Under the guidance of an instructor, Mr Trudeau rolled up his sleeves, donned a pair of safety glasses, and used an industrial drill press to learn a new skill; one that he clearly enjoyed, flipping a mallet into the air with one hand and catching it with the other before hammering three pegs into the newly made rack.

“We were delighted to have Prime Minister Trudeau attend the Nova Scotia Skills Competition,” said Courtney Gouthro of Skills Canada Nova Scotia. "The Prime Minister's attendance at the Competition was a wonderful demonstration of the Government of Canada's interest and commitment to skills development, continuous learning, and innovation." 

"Having the Prime Minister attend the Nova Scotia Skills Competition raised awareness and profile for our organization. We had more media on site than at any event we've hosted before, more social media activity than we could have anticipated, and leads to potential new partnerships that have come about as a result of the Prime Minister's visit."

"The Government of Canada continues to be a leading partner for Skills/Compétences Canada and its  provincial/territorial members in efforts targeted at raising the profile of trades and technology occupations among young Canadians. Skills Canada Nova Scotia is able to deliver valuable programming to encourage youth to explore skilled careers and discover their passions because of the support from partners like the Government of Canada.”

"The students and apprentices who compete are tremendously talented and they represent Nova Scotia and Canada's future workforce. It's important to showcase their skills, ambition, and level of expertise to raise the profile of careers in skilled trades and technology."

Visit Skills/Compétences Canada website for details on their upcoming events and programmes.