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Younger students explore careers at NSCC in Stellarton

Automotive instructor Damien Hall shows students a fluid line as part of a Skilled Futures in Trades and Technology workshop organized by Skills Canada – Nova Scotia, a not-for-profit organization that provides opportunities for youth to explore skilled trades and technologies, discover their passions and strive for excellence.
Automotive instructor Damien Hall shows students a fluid line as part of a Skilled Futures in Trades and Technology workshop organized by Skills Canada – Nova Scotia, a not-for-profit organization that provides opportunities for youth to explore skilled trades and technologies, discover their passions and strive for excellence.

Students in grades 8, 9 and 10 put together and sanded tool boxes, built circuits and worked with machinery on Wednesday as part of a Skills Canada event at the Pictou campus of the Nova Scotia Community College.

Eighty-three students from across the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board, and some from the Strait Regional School Board, attended Skilled Futures in Trades and Technology, presented by Skills Canada – Nova Scotia.

Eighty-three students from across the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board, and some from the Strait Regional School Board, attended Skilled Futures in Trades and Technology, presented by Skills Canada – Nova Scotia.

They came from 15 schools, including Pictou Academy, Northumberland Regional High School, North Nova Education Centre and New Glasgow Academy.

“It gives students the opportunity to get their hands dirty and see aspects of the different career opportunities in an up-close and hands-on way,” said Skills Canada – Nova Scotia program manager Laura King.

The purpose of the event is to allow students to explore careers in skilled trade and technology through participating in workshops in a variety of disciplines, including automotive service and repair, electronic engineering, carpentry and welding. King said the most impactful part of the day’s sessions is the workshops, and the heavy-duty equipment repair was the most popular choice.

She said the event has been held at the local NSCC campus for the last 10 years, and in the past was available to students in grades 10 to 12. She said this is the first year the program has been geared toward younger students, which allows them to make choices about what subjects to study in high school based on their experience at the skills event.

“If we’re giving them that information in Grade 11 or 12, it’s almost too late,” she said. “It’s a barrier we want to try to eliminate.”

Courtney Gouthro, executive director of SCNS, said some students aren’t aware of the opportunities available in the skilled trade and technology sectors.

“Our Skilled Futures series is an interactive tool that allows students to immerse themselves in a variety of career options in an effort to help students make an informed decision. The most exciting part of the day is when students discover a career choice that they may not have considered before.”

Open to all students in grades 8 to 10 who register, last year 612 students across the province participated in five types of Skilled Futures events held at various NSCC locations between October and May.

The day is divided into a number of sessions that include two workshops, occupational health and safety, time with mentors and an essential skills challenge, which is also new to the program.

This part of the day focuses on working with others, listening, and following instructions, as students are placed in groups of six that rotate through three stations where they complete tasks such as wiring a doorbell, building a tower and completing a digital puzzle.

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