Thirty-two newly certified journeypersons will receive awards for their outstanding achievement in the skilled trades in an awards ceremony tonight. Hosted by the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC), the awards recognize the top achievers from among the more than 1,250 new journeypersons certified in the 47 trades in Saskatchewan between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010.
“A strong apprenticeship and trade certification system provides the training and support apprentices need to develop skills that Saskatchewan’s employers are looking for,” Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration Minister Rob Norris said. “The 32 exceptional new journeypersons we are recognizing this evening will be valuable additions to the province’s workforce.”
Increased awareness of great career opportunities available in the skilled trades, coupled with the strength of Saskatchewan’s economy, has resulted in steady growth in apprenticeship numbers. The total number of apprentices registered with the SATCC rose to 9,136 in 2009-10 up from 5,915 in 2005-06, a 54 per cent increase in the last five years.
“Interest in apprenticeship training and trade certification continues to grow with youth and employers,” SATCC Board Chair Garry Kot said. “More employers are recognizing that workers who register in, and complete, apprenticeship training acquire skills and experience that add to the productivity and competitiveness of their businesses. Employer support for apprenticeship is demonstrated by the growing number of industry scholarships presented this year.”
Fourteen industry associations will provide scholarships or awards recognizing outstanding new journeyperson achievement in 14 skilled trades. In addition, three apprentices will be recognized for achieving gold medals in the provincial Skills Canada competitions in Prince Albert in April 2010.
Participation in the Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship (SYA) Program remains at high levels in Saskatchewan high schools. More than 240 high schools now offer the program, and in excess of 4,460 students currently participate. As a direct result, 200 graduates of the SYA Program are now registered with employers as apprentices, earning good wages as they complete the requirements for trade certification.