Canada’s top trades students showcase skills in national competition
June 16, 2014
The 2014 Skills Canada national competition featured more than 500 of the country’s top skilled trades and technology students and apprentices battling it out for top spot in their respective fields, and with that, a chance to represent Canada at the WorldSkills competition in São Paulo, Brazil in 2015.
The 20th Skills Canada national event was held from June 4 to 7 at The International Centre in Mississauga, ON. Thousands turned up to watch the competition, including busloads of students from across Ontario; Jason Kenney, minister of employment and social development; HGTV’s Bryan Baeumler of House of Bryan and Disaster DIY; Paul Lafrance of Decked Out; and former MasterChef contestant Julie Miguel.
The event included 42 separate competitions in six different sectors: construction, services, manufacturing, transportation, information technology and employability.
In the refrigeration and air conditioning competition, students had two days, or 12 hours, to make a bare tube evaporator using ½ inch copper tubing and 404A as a refrigerant. Quebec’s Marc-Antoine Bettez won gold, Keiran Hodges from Alberta took home silver and Aaron Wright, representing New Brunswick, was awarded the bronze medal.
In the plumbing competition, students also had 12 hours over two days to complete their project, which was a three-piece bathroom rough-in. Kendrick Howe from Alberta took gold, Cody Beck from Ontario won the silver medal and Michael Lavoie Vallée from Quebec finished with bronze.
In addition to the competitions, the event offered visitors the opportunity to participate in more than 40 Try-A-Trade and Technology activities. Other features of the event include interactive demonstrations on the Essential Skills Stage, over 70 exhibitors in the Career Zone and many networking opportunities with industry leaders.
The highest ranking age elegible medalist in each contest area will then compete in the WorldSkills Canadian Trials. From there successful competitors will be named to the WorldSkills Team Canada 2015 and will participate in the 43rd WorldSkills Competition in São Paulo, Brazil. Slated for August 11-16, 2015, WorldSkills International (formerly known as the “Skills Olympics”) is expected to draw competitors from regional and national skill competitions held currently in 72 countries and regions.
The Mechanical Contractors Association of Ontario (MCAO) and the Ontario Pipe Trades Council (OPTC) were premier sponsors of the event.