Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Promoting agricultural education & employment opportunities for young learners

Saskatchewan Polytechnic and Sun West School Division hosted an agriculture boot camp for over 50 learners

November 29, 2018 – Saskatchewan Polytechnic and Sun West School Division teamed up on an Agricultural Equipment Technician boot camp for high school learners. Over 50 learners were in attendance. This follows the success of the partnership formed last spring between the Canada Equipment Dealers Foundation, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Sun West School Division and the Western Equipment Dealers Association to introduce grade 11 and 12 learners to agricultural-related careers.

At the boot camp learners explored a day in the life of an Agricultural Equipment Technician (AET). The camp included a Saskatoon campus tour, shop tour and hands-on learning with hydraulics, engines and electrical components. The high school learners joined an apprenticeship class and were mentored by apprenticeship students.

“Agriculture is a major contributor to Saskatchewan's overall economy and Sask Polytech is excited to encourage more high school learners to pursue an agriculture career,” says Chris Thomson, Sask Polytech Agricultural Equipment Technician program head. “This boot camp is an opportunity for students to learn more about a career in agriculture equipment and experience what we have to offer at Sask Polytech.”

“Boot camp is an important part of the AET 20 class,” says Darren Gasper, superintendent of Education with Sun West School Division. “Students from across the province are getting an insider’s view of AET training at the post-secondary level so that they are more knowledgeable and comfortable with the training path of an AET after high school. The great attendance we see here today speaks to students’ growing interest in this career and in other opportunities in the ag sector.”

“The Western Equipment Dealers Association and the Canada Equipment Dealers Foundation are very pleased with the uptake of the AET course, we initially estimated 25 to 30 student enrolments and are very pleased with final enrolment of 115 students,” says Larry Hertz, vice-president of WEDA. “Our 125 dealer locations across the province are looking forward to hosting the students once they’ve completed their online curriculum for an additional 40 hours of practical experience. This additional day spent working alongside current AET students and instructors along with a tour of the campus really gets them excited about their career path in our industry.”

Agricultural Equipment Technician (AET) 20L and 30L launched last spring includes 50 hours of online theory, 40 hours of practical work study at an agriculture dealership and a 10-hour boot camp at Sask Polytech. High school learners are introduced to both the technical and interpersonal skills needed for a career in the agriculture sector, as well as future employment opportunities.

Sask Polytech offers an Agricultural Equipment Technician certificate and provides in-school portion of Agricultural Equipment Technician apprenticeship training with the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission. Agricultural Equipment Technicians diagnose, repair, modify, overhaul, service and maintain some of today’s most technologically advanced machines—tractors, combines, cultivators, seeders and sprayers.

ag boot camp

ag boot camp

About Sask Polytech: Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves 28,000 distinct students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student need, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.

About Sun West School Division & the Sun West Distance Learning Centre (DLC): As Saskatchewan’s largest online school, Sun West DLC supports more than 3,000 learners across the province each year. Both home-based and in-school students take advantage of the opportunity to learn with the DLC at a pace, place and time that suits their individual learning needs.  There are more than 160 online courses ranging from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and registrations are accepted year round.  In addition to the comprehensive suite of digital resources, Sun West DLC employs more than 70 full-time educators to provide instructional support, feedback and encouragement to learners throughout their learning experience.

About Western Equipment Dealers Association (WEDA): WEDA represents North American farm, industrial and outdoor power equipment dealers across Canada and the United States.  As the largest equipment dealer association in North America and the largest regional trade association of its kind in North America, WEDA offers members a comprehensive array of dealer-oriented legislative, educational and communications services, ranging from lobbying to legal, accounting and marketing support. WEDA also provides products and services that include industry and manufacturer relations, as well as industry information and intelligence. The Association’s many programs are either available only to members or provided at a reduced cost for members.