Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic (Nationals 2016)
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic (Nationals 2016)

Sask Polytech students have some of the best skills in the world

Skills competitions aim to showcase trade and technology careers

Every year dozens of students from several programs at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, ranging from welding to cooking, come together to showcase their abilities in their chosen trade at the Skills Saskatchewan Annual Provincial Skills Competition. Students compete against their peers to complete notoriously intense challenges, vying for a spot on Team Saskatchewan at the Skills Canada National Skills Competition and a chance to represent Canada every second year at the World Skills International competition.

“The provincial, national and world Skills competitions are designed to showcase each competitor’s skills in trades and technology and to promoting them as part of Canada’s future skilled labour workforce,” says Al Gabert, executive director, Skills Saskatchewan. “Saskatchewan Polytechnic is a great partner of Skills Saskatchewan and helps run and promote the Skills competitions to their students. We are very proud of this partnership.”

This year, Sask Polytech is proud of students headed to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in October to compete against some of the best in the world! Kyla Henry, a Graphic Communications student, and Daniel Nelson, an Electrician applied certificate student are preparing for Abu Dhabi but they aren’t the first students to compete at the international level.

“We regularly have students who make it to the national team level,” says Jamie Hilts, dean of the School of Mining, Energy and Manufacturing as well as the school of Natural Resources and Built Environment. “We often dominate the provincial competitions and many of our students rank in the top three within their trade at the national competitions.”

This is also not the first time Sask Polytech has a student from the Graphic Communications program as part of Team Canada at the World Skills Competitions.  In 2015, now-alumnus Roxanne Kanak competed at the competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil, earning a Medal of Excellence.

“Our program is designed to engage students in their education and provides them with a lot of hands-on learning opportunities,” says John Karmazyn, program head of the Graphic Communications program and New Media Communications program. “We encourage our students to develop and hone their skills to be the best they can be and we are really proud of their achievements.”

For Kyla Henry, being able to compete at an international level is equal parts exciting and nerve wracking.

“A lot of people have finished their programs and already have a job in the field, so I am competing against people who have more experience than I do,” she says. “But I’m in school still, so I just treat every day like training.”

Make sure to follow Pathways in the fall to find out how Sask Polytech did at the World Skills Competition!

2017 results from Saskatchewan Skills earlier this spring are below!

Gold medals 17
Silver medals 16
Bronze medals 14

Congrats to our students!

Published May 2017.