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November 2, 2015
For immediate release

Prince Edward Island launches Skilled Trades and Technology Week

Workforce and Advanced Learning

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Prince Edward Island Trades and Technology Week was officially proclaimed today by Minister Richard Brown, Workforce and Advanced Learning; Holland College President Dr. Brian McMillan; and Josh Silver, President of Skills Canada PEI’s Board of Directors, at an event hosted by Holland College.

As part of a national initiative, Skills Canada and its member organizations will be promoting and hosting events throughout the week to raise awareness of skilled trades and technology careers to parents, youth, and the general public. National Skilled Trades and Technology Week takes place across Canada, November 2–8, 2015.

“I am honoured to be involved in the proclamation of PEI’s Skilled Trades and Technology Week. With our changing economy, trades and technology continue to steadily increase in importance in the workforce,” said Minister Brown. “This week is an opportunity to promote and raise awareness of the career options available to our youth in the trades and technology industries.”

In addition to the proclamation, the minister announced a $500 prize to support a new Skills Canada PEI contest. The prize money will be used to support the purchase of new tools and/or equipment for the career and technical education programs at the winning school.

The contest encourages students in grades 9–12 to design hands-on activities that demonstrate engagement in the skilled trades and technologies. Examples of student projects may include, but are not limited to: creating a video series; hands-on activities for peers; field trips; or community-based learning opportunities.

“We’re very pleased to be partnering with the Province and Holland College in getting students engaged and excited about trades and technology,” said Josh Silver, President of Skills Canada PEI’s Board of Directors. “Students can have successful, rewarding careers in these areas, and we hope to bring awareness to that by taking part in our competition.”

“Holland College is proud to partner with Skills Canada PEI and the Province in celebrating this week, and promoting trades and technology careers to youth. The underlying demographics of an aging workforce in these occupational areas and the current rise in regional and national megaprojects indicate that there will be continued opportunity for our youth to find meaningful careers in these sectors,” said Dr. Brian McMillan, President of Holland College. “PEI has demonstrated growth in new sectors such as Information Technology, Renewable Energy, Marine and Aerospace, and Holland College is contributing skilled labour through our full-time programs, flexible part-time learning, and contract training. We applaud the national effort to highlight and celebrate these sectors through the promotion of National Skilled Trades and Technology Week.”

Registration is now open for the student competition; registration forms are available at www.skillscanada.pe.ca. For more information, please contact Tawna MacLeod, Executive Director, Skills Canada PEI at (902) 566-9352 or tmacleod@hollandcollege.com

Each year, approximately 300 Island students and apprentices compete in 38 categories of trades and technology for a chance to earn a spot on Team PEI at the National event. Approximately 40 Island students and apprentices have the opportunity to represent PEI at the event. Last year, 41 Island students represented PEI at the 2015 National Skills Canada Competition in Saskatchewan. This year’s Provincial Skills Competition will take place in March 2016 and the National Skills Competition will be held in Moncton, New Brunswick, June 2016.

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Media Contact: Sheila Kerry
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