Online training is the key to success

Doug Pascoe and Tracey Szabo
Doug Pascoe and Tracey Szabo

Hands on learning and online training were keys to success for Tracey Szabo. While working at Young’s Equipment in Windthorst, Saskatchewan Tracey was able to complete the online partsperson apprenticeship training through Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) to become a journeyperson.

The online model allowed Tracey to work through all three levels of technical training at home.

“Truth be known, if this training wouldn’t have been online, there is no way I could have taken it,” she said. “I don’t see how I would have been able to leave home and work and stay in Saskatoon for this length of time. Having this training online was a huge benefit to me and allowed me to complete the sections on my own time at home.”

Even though the partsperson training was online, Tracey never felt that she was working through the material on her own.

“All of my instructors during the three years were all easily accessible and very knowledgeable about the course content,” she said. “They were all a joy to deal with.”

This is the first formal post-secondary education Tracey has taken working in the parts industry for 17 years. She has gained extensive knowledge on-the-job in roles that involved parts, sales, financing, mechanical, pre-delivery inspection and warranty. For the past five years, Tracey has been employed at the parts counter at Young’s Equipment. She found her previous work experience was a great asset while taking the apprenticeship training.

“I found as I was going through the training, I could relate the content to my current and previous experiences which was a big benefit to me,” she said. “Completing the partsperson apprenticeship training has increased my knowledge of working components and has given me a better understanding of how systems function.”

“The online parts management training is a win-win for students and employers,” says Doug Pascoe, Young’s Equipment Corporate Parts manager. “The online training is very valuable for both the employer and the student. The student doesn’t have make the investment to be away from home to do the training and the employer doesn’t lose productivity at work. Tracy has grown a great deal personally and professionally while completing her journeyperson. That is what we strive for as managers. We are very proud of her.”  

Tracey was rewarded for her hard work by getting the highest marks in her class on the Red Seal journeyperson exam she wrote in June 2018 with the SATCC. She also received an Outstanding New Journeyperson Award at the SATCC’s 2018 Apprenticeship Awards.

When her mark arrived from SATCC in the mail she was excited with how well she’d done.

“I was thrilled,” she said. “You could say it was the cherry on top for me.”

“I would highly recommend this training to anyone looking to pursue a career in any parts department. There is a lot of valuable information that is taught and would help anyone wanting to advance within their organization.”

In addition to the knowledge and career boost Tracey received by taking the course, she sees even greater positive results.

“For me it was a huge accomplishment to complete this course,” said Tracey.  “My husband and I have a 16-year-old daughter and I looked at this as an opportunity to show her that anything is possible, anytime in your life.”

The SATCC administers the apprenticeship and trade certification system in Saskatchewan. Apprenticeship is a post-secondary education pathway in which 85 per cent of the learning happens on the job. The other 15 per cent happens in a classroom setting and is referred to as technical training. Institutions such as Saskatchewan Polytechnic are contracted by the SATCC to provide apprenticeship technical training across the province. Saskatchewan Polytechnic is the SATCC’s largest training provider.