Spotlight shines on next generation skilled labour force at Canadian skills competition

Skills/Competences Canada, a not-for-profit organization that actively promotes careers in skilled trades and technologies, announced today the results of the 15th Canadian Skills Competition, which took place May 20-23, 2009 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.  The national competition brought together over 500 competitors, 4,000 attendees and over 50 industry Sponsors and Partners.  

The Canadian Skills Competition is the only national, Olympic-style, multi-trade and technology event of its kind for young students and apprentices in the country. The two-day competition took place at the Tourism and Culinary Centre of Holland College and the Charlottetown Civic Centre where 40 different events were showcased in six major trades and technology categories:

1.      Transportation
2.      Construction
3.      Manufacturing
4.      Information and Technology
5.      Service
6.      Employment and Leadership

The competition featured 40 different assigned projects created by industry and education representatives of the Skills/Competences Canada National Technical Committee. Competitors were evaluated by independent judges from the respective industry sectors, who based their decisions on industry standards and established work practices, including such criteria as quality of work, safety, cleanliness, skill level and creativity.

This year’s competition drew numerous special guests and dignitaries including P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz; Deputy Mayor of Charlottetown Stu MacFadyen; Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry Richard Brown; Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, Gail Shea; Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning, Minister Alan Campbell; and Mike Holmes, Canada’s Most Trusted Contractor  and host and creator of Holmes on Homes.

Nineteen competitors from Team Canada also attended the competition, in preparation for the 40th WorldSkills Competition taking place in Calgary this coming September. Although they didn’t compete in the competition, the Team Canada representatives did take part in training projects alongside the competitors as a means of enhancing their skills and competitive spirit leading up to the international event.  

“Industries that depend on skilled trade workers are key drivers of our economy and contribute over 50 per cent of Canada’s GDP,” says Shaun Thorson, executive director, Skills/Competences Canada. “The Canadian Skills Competition is a unique event that helps showcase and raise awareness for the broad range of opportunities to be found in the trades, while demonstrating the depth of talent within the skills movement in Canada.”

“An event like the Canadian Skills Competition gives me great encouragement about the future of skilled trades and technology careers in Canada,” says Canada’s Most Trusted Contractor Mike Holmes. “I am so proud of the caliber of projects showcased at this event, and I look forward to continuing to support unique programs and competitions that promote skilled trades to young people.”

Award Highlights
A total of 173 medals were awarded to the top champions in six skilled trade and technology categories. Best of Region competitors were also recognized for having the highest competitive score by category for their region. Highlights include:

•          The Team Spirit Award was presented to Nunavut for expressing the most “Spirit” during the course of the Competition.  
•          The Contest Safety Award was presented to the contest area that was evaluated by the National Safety Committee as being the best at administrating all aspects of safety including prevention and emergency preparedness. The winners were Carpentry and Electrical Wiring.
•          The Contributor of the Year Award was given to technical committee volunteers who ensured that Canadian Skills Competition 2009 was a success.  The winners were William Speed and Irwin Campbell.

WorldSkills Calgary 2009
The Canadian Skills Competition is an important training opportunity for representatives from Team Canada 2009 who were chosen at last year’s Canadian Skills Competition, and who will be competing at WorldSkills Calgary 2009. This four-day international competition, which is the biggest of its kind in the world, takes place September 1-7, 2009 at Stampede Park where more than 900 skilled young people from trade, service and technology programs from 51 member regions/countries will gather to compete.

WorldSkills Calgary 2009, the 40th WorldSkills Competition, will be the city’s largest international competitive event since the 1988 Olympic Winter Games. The organizing committee, WorldSkills Calgary 2009, is leading the event coordination with support from WorldSkills International, Skills/Competences Canada, and Skills Canada Alberta. Along with numerous sponsors and suppliers, the major event funding partners include: Government of Canada, Government of Alberta and The City of Calgary.

Skills/Competences Canada was founded in 1989 as a national, not-for-profit organization that works with employers, educators, labour groups and governments to promote skilled trades and technology careers among Canadian youth. Its unique position among private and public sector partners enables it to work toward securing Canada’s future skilled labour needs while helping young people discover rewarding careers. Skills/Competences Canada offers experiential learning opportunities including skilled trades and technology competitions for hundreds of thousands of young Canadians through regional, provincial/territorial, national and international events, as well as skilled trades awareness programs. Headquartered in Gatineau, Quebec, Skills/Competences Canada is the Canadian Member organization of WorldSkills International and the official legacy partner of WorldSkills Calgary 2009.

For more information visit or call 877-754-5226.

WorldSkills International’s mission is to promote, through the cooperative action of Members, a worldwide awareness of the essential contribution that skills and high standards of competence make to the achievement of economic success and personal fulfillment. WorldSkills International’s principal activity is organizing the WorldSkills Competition in a different Member country/region every two years. These Competitions bring the best young professionals from trades, service and vocational programs from around the world to showcase their talents and ability at the WorldSkills Competition.

For more about WorldSkills, visit