Task force to strengthen skilled trades education

Advanced Education Minister Nicolaides, MLA Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk, MLA Shane Getson, NAIT president and CEO Glenn Feltham, and other members for the Skills for Jobs Task Force.

NAIT president and CEO Glenn Feltham and SAIT president and CEO David Ross will head government’s 19-member task force that will provide recommendations on how to best renew and expand apprenticeship education and skilled trades opportunities for Albertans.

“Over the last few years, we have seen a dual problem of rising youth unemployment and a wave of retirements in the skilled trades. We need more young Albertans to pursue careers in the skilled trades and our government’s new Skills for Jobs Task Force will work towards that goal. More specifically, it will work to streamline training and credentialling, expand apprenticeship learning and work towards realizing the German model’s ‘parity of esteem’ between apprenticeship and academic learning.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

The task force will inform government on ways to:

  • Increase awareness of the value of skilled trades careers and strengthen enrolment in apprenticeship programs.
  • Raise the parity of esteem for apprenticeship education.
  • Expand the apprenticeship model of classroom education with on-the-job learning to other careers and occupations.

“Skills matter! A skilled workforce is at the very heart of competitiveness and prosperity. And outstanding careers are built on skills. The Skills for Jobs Task Force will reimagine our skills and apprenticeship model. We will focus on reforming Alberta’s skills and apprenticeship system to expand opportunities and build parity of esteem between career options, including the skilled trades.”

Glenn Feltham, president and CEO, NAIT, and co-chair, Skills for Jobs Task Force

“The government’s ongoing support and focus on applied-education and skills development is critical for Alberta’s prosperity. This task force will play a vital role in the renewal and acceleration of our province’s skilled workforce — bringing attention to the value of applied education and the careers and opportunities within skilled trades. Our work is to prepare learners for successful careers in the future and ultimately to provide industry the talent they need to grow our province.”

David Ross, president and CEO of SAIT, and co-chair, Skills for Jobs Task Force

“I am very pleased to have been named to the skilled trades task force. Having come from the industrial and midstream sectors, I know first-hand the impact and the difference that skilled trades make in regards to safety, quality and cost to any successful project. The women and men in the skilled trades have my utmost respect, many of whom have been and are mentors of mine.”

Shane Getson, MLA for Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland, Skilled Trades Caucus member

The task force includes representatives from industry, labour, education leaders in both K-12 and post-secondary, and community agencies. It will submit a preliminary report in early 2020, followed by a full public report later in the year.

Skills for Jobs Task Force members

  • Glenn Feltham (co-chair), president and CEO, NAIT
  • David Ross (co-chair), president and CEO, SAIT
  • Ray Massey, president, Skills Canada Alberta
  • Amanda Rosychuk, senior vice-president, drainage services, EPCOR and vice-chair, Women Building Futures
  • Andy Neigel, president and CEO, CAREERS: the Next Generation
  • j’Amey Bevan, chair, Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board
  • Tony Tomkiewych, presiding officer, Provincial Apprenticeship Committee - industrial mechanic (millwright)
  • Paul Verhesen, president and CEO, Clark Builders
  • Ann Everatt, president and CEO, Northern Lakes College
  • Dave King, dean, School of Trades and Technology, Lakeland College
  • Stuart Cullum, president, Olds College
  • Jason Wright, training coordinator, Sheet Metal Workers Local 8, and acting president, Building Trades of Alberta Training Society
  • Brad Bagnall, instructor, Trades Centre of Excellence, Bowness High School
  • Laura Jo Gunter, president and CEO, Bow Valley College
  • Paul Heyens, CEO, Alberta Glass
  • Sandy Sanderson, president/owner Askiy Mat Service
  • Terry O’Flynn, president and founding partner, Prism Flow Products Inc.
  • Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk, MLA, Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville, and chair of the Alberta Skilled Trades Caucus
  • Shane Getson, MLA, Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland, and member of the Alberta Skilled Trades Caucus

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