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Alberta appoints youth ambassadors to promote careers in skilled trades

by HR News Canada
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Alberta’s government has introduced an Advisory Council of Skilled Trades Youth Ambassadors (STYA) to amplify the voices of young adults in the skilled trades. This initiative, led by Minister of Advanced Education Rajan Sawhney, aims to address workforce shortages and encourage more students to pursue careers in high-demand trades.

“Alberta’s young adults have so much to offer our growing province. The advice of young apprentices and journeypersons will give us valuable insight as we look for more ways to grow and promote the skilled trades. I look forward to this exciting opportunity to collaborate with a strong group of ambassadors,” Sawhney said.

The council comprises 12 youth ambassadors, each nominated by their post-secondary institution for their excellence in apprenticeship programs. These ambassadors will serve six-month terms, providing feedback to the government on issues, challenges, and opportunities in the skilled trades sector.

Dennis Beaudoin, dean of the School of Trades and Skills at Olds College, emphasized the importance of youth involvement: “Having youth involved in a conversation with our ministries to provide feedback about the apprenticeship system in Alberta and about their own personal journeys is absolutely vital to making the provincial apprenticeship system even better than it is today. Our youth are the up-and-coming skilled trades workforce, and their voices should be heard and valued.”

Patricia Nelson, secretary of Skills Canada Alberta and technical training manager at Finning Canada, expressed pride in the participation of Skills Canada Alberta alumni: “As champions and leaders among their peers, they will be able to offer unique insights, raise the parity of esteem, and inspire Alberta’s future workforce to pursue rewarding careers in the trades.”

Dennis Perrin, chair of the Premier’s Council on Skills, also supported the initiative: “Deploying Skilled Trades Youth Ambassadors is a brilliant way to promote skilled trades and technologies in Alberta’s growing economy. Young journeypersons and apprentices are in the best position to understand the interests of other young professionals and will greatly enhance the knowledge and awareness of skilled trades among their peers.”

The ambassadors include:

  • Mary Beazer, Cook
  • Dalin Duce, Heavy Equipment Technician
  • Christina Rose Kucheruk, Instrumentation
  • Eden Marklund, Welder
  • Trinity Mehlhaff, Pre-employment Automotive Service Technician
  • Ty Penner, Landscape Horticulturalist
  • Ben Rainforth, Welder
  • Nathalie Roseberry, Plumber/Gasfitter
  • Sydney Schuk, Welder
  • Andrew Shields, Heavy Equipment Technician
  • Chloe Sperling, Cabinet Maker
  • Laine Van Hardeveld, Millwright

Alberta’s government has been actively investing in apprenticeship programs to support the skilled trades sector. Through Budget 2024, an additional $24 million per year will be allocated over the next three years to create more seats in apprenticeship classes at public post-secondary institutions. In Budget 2023, $44.2 million was invested over three years in direct support to organizations such as CAREERS: The Next Generation, Women Building Futures, and Skills Canada Alberta.

These efforts reflect Alberta’s commitment to building its workforce and economy by promoting skilled trades and addressing the growing demand for skilled workers.

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