The Skills for Jobs Task Force was appointed in September 2019 to find ways to expand and strengthen apprenticeship education and skilled trades opportunities to meet labour demands.
Business and industry are facing significant labour shortages as nearly 45,000 skilled workers are set to retire over the next 10 years.
The task force’s work will help more people recognize that becoming a skilled tradesperson opens the door to respected, well-paying careers.
The task force completed their work in September 2020.
September 2019 to September 2020
Results under review
Who is listening
Ministry of Advanced Education
The task force submitted the Skills for Jobs Task Force Final Report to the Minister of Advanced Education. It included recommendations on ways to:
- increase awareness of the value of skilled trades careers and strengthen enrolment in apprenticeship programs
- change student and public perception so apprenticeship education is seen to be as valuable as a university degree
- expand the apprenticeship model to other careers and occupations
The Minister of Advanced Education is reviewing the recommendations and building a plan that will put student learning first.
Task force members
The 21-member task force included representatives from industry, labour, community agencies, and education leaders in both K-12 and post-secondary.
Glenn Feltham, Co-Chair, former President and CEO, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)
Glenn Feltham served as President and CEO of NAIT from 2011 to 2019. As NAIT’s sixth president he led the institute in its vision to become one of the world’s leading polytechnics, with a focus on relevance and responsiveness. During his presidency, NAIT experienced unprecedented success and growth. Glenn further played a leading role in advancing the post-secondary system in Canada and Alberta, serving as chair of Polytechnics Canada as well as chair of the Council of Post-Secondary Presidents of Alberta. Glenn continues to work tirelessly to help build economic prosperity through skills development. He holds many educational and professional designations, including a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Montana, a law degree from Queen’s University, and a PhD in accounting from the University of Waterloo. In addition to his accomplishments in post-secondary education, Glenn has made significant contributions to Edmonton, Alberta, and to Canada. This includes having chaired or served on economic, governmental, academic, cultural and social boards.
David Ross, Co-Chair, President and CEO, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)
David joined SAIT as its President and Chief Executive Officer in March 2013. Previously he served as President of Langara College and as Vice President Administration and Chief Financial Officer at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. David brings over 30 years of post-secondary experience across several provinces. Internationally, he is on the boards for the League for Innovation, the Global Education Network, the Global Applied Education Network and has chaired the Canadian Bureau for International Education. Nationally, he has sat on boards for the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Polytechnics Canada, the Business Higher Education Roundtable and previously on the Board for CICan. He was Chair of British Columbia Colleges and the Post-Secondary Employers Association of British Columbia. Recent local board experience includes Calgary Economic Development and the Calgary Homeless Foundation. David holds a Bachelor of Science (Biology) and Master of Business Administration from Dalhousie University, a Master of Aquaculture from Simon Fraser University and a PhD from the University of Nebraska.
Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk, MLA, Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville, and chair of the Alberta Skilled Trades Caucus
Since April 2019, Jackie has served as the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville. She is currently a member of the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders and Printing and the Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future. She previously served on the Special Standing Committee on Members’ Services and the Standing Committee on Resource Stewardship. Prior to serving with the Legislative Assembly, she owned and operated a small business in Vegreville for close to 35 years. Jackie has been a volunteer and active member of the Vegreville business community, including roles with the Vegreville Rotary Club, the Vegreville & District Chamber of Commerce and the Vegreville Economic Development Board. She has completed her post-secondary studies at the University of Calgary and also at MacEwan University in Edmonton. She holds a journeyman certificate for beautician/hairstylist and a diploma in insurance adjustment. As a certified trades professional, she understands the rewards and fulfilment that can come with a career in the trades.
Brad Bagnall, instructor, Trades Centre of Excellence, Bowness High School
Brad Bagnall is a Construction and Trades Centre of Excellence teacher at Bowness High School in Calgary. He has a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta. Brad has spent 14 years teaching for the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) in junior high and high school construction shops. He builds a large variety of projects to familiarize his students with career possibilities in the skilled trades. Brad works directly with Bowness High School’s partners in the construction industry to deliver unique skilled trades related programming specifically within the Trades Center of Excellence Program offered to grade 11 & 12 students. From playhouses to cabinets and cutting boards, the project work completed by his students all relates to different skillsets desired of workers in the construction and manufacturing industries. In 2017, Brad began mentoring and supporting Construction teachers within the CBE as an accredited Tool Skill Evaluator with the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America.
j’Amey Bevan, chair, Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board
As a skilled trades professional with over 20 years experience in the industrial construction and maintenance industry, j’Amey is a passionate advocate for apprenticeship education, continuous learning, supportive work environments and trades mastery. She is Director of the Boilermakers National Training for Canada, and Chair of the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board. In addition, j’Amey currently serves as a director on the Alberta Workforce Essential Skills Board and the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum Board, as well as the chair of the Interprovincial Alliance of Board Chairs of Canada. She has earned a boilermaker certificate with a Red Seal endorsement, as well as an Achievement in Business Competencies Program (Blue Seal) certificate and a Master of Arts in leadership through Royal Roads University.
Stuart Cullum, president, Olds College
As president of Olds College, Stuart works to strengthen the college’s leadership role in Alberta’s evolving and innovative agriculture sector. Stuart is an executive leader with a wealth of experience in private industry as well as in the finance, post-secondary and not-for-profit sectors. He holds bachelors degrees in arts and education from the University of Lethbridge and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Alberta, as well as various other academic certifications. Prior to his current position, he held the roles of Vice President Academic and Chief Operating Officer at Lethbridge College, Vice President Agriculture at Northlands, and Executive Director, novaNAIT (NAIT’s Applied Research and Company Development division). While in these roles, Stuart and his team established programming and centres for research, teaching and learning, company development and entrepreneurship, attracting partnerships.
Ann Everatt, president and CEO, Northern Lakes College
Ann recently retired as the President of Northern Lakes College. Over the past 40 plus years of her career, Ann has worked across Canada in a variety of post-secondary institutions, beginning as a faculty member and then progressing into more senior management roles. She has worked in both small, remote and northern colleges and in large urban-based colleges. Prior to Northern Lakes College, she worked at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, Northern College in Timmins, Ontario and at Keyano College in Fort McMurray. Ann has been a strong advocate for increasing access to trades programs and post-secondary education for rural and northern students as well as implementing dual credit programs for students in partnerships with a number of school boards. She also partnered with Careers: The Next Generation to offer Trades Training Camps for youth in Alberta’s northwestern region. At Northern Lakes College, she led in the implementation of the Trades Training Transformers, which can be mobilized in any community to provide a complete trades lab experience where needed.
Shane Getson, MLA, Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland, and member of the Alberta Skilled Trades Caucus
Shane was elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland on April 16, 2019. He currently serves as deputy chair on the Standing Committee on the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund and is a Member of the Standing Committees on Resource Stewardship. Prior to serving with the Legislative Assembly, he spent 15 years in the construction industry, most recently in the position of project director. He also worked as a senior manager of planning and execution for a private company in the energy sector from 2008-2012. Shane attended the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), where he received a diploma in civil engineering technology in 1996.
Laura Jo Gunter, president and CEO, Bow Valley College
Laura Jo Gunter became NAIT’s seventh President and CEO on August 24, 2020. An innovative leader, she brings extensive post-secondary knowledge and an entrepreneurial spirit to her role. Prior to joining NAIT, Laura Jo was President and CEO of Bow Valley College in Calgary. Under Laura Jo’s leadership, Bow Valley College works to ensure students receive the skills they need to be productive in the workforce and adaptive to industry challenges. Throughout her career, Laura has held progressively senior roles in both academic institutions and the private sector, and has served on several academic boards. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University, and a Master of Business Administration from Queen's University.
Paul Heyens, CEO, Alberta Glass
Paul is the owner and chief executive officer of Alberta Glass. He is the past-chair of the Alberta Construction Association and a past member of the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board. Paul attended SAIT as a glazier apprentice and earned a journeyman certificate with a Red Seal endorsement in the glazier trade. He worked in the industry until 1994, when he co-founded Alberta Glass. Today, Alberta Glass is one of Western Canada’s largest full service glazing contractors employing many journeypersons and apprentices. He is proud to have worked on such iconic buildings as Calgary’s Bankers Hall and the Bow, as well as Edmonton’s City Hall and Muttart Conservatory.
Dave King, dean, School of Trades and Technology, Lakeland College
As an experienced skilled trades professional and former instructor, Dave uses his wealth of knowledge to help students at Lakeland College build their skills and progress towards successful careers. Dave is a Red Seal certified automotive service technician and heavy equipment technician as well as achieving his Alberta Blue Seal certification. He currently serves on the board of directors for Skills Canada Alberta, is a member of the North East Alberta Apprenticeship Initiative (NEAAI), a member of the National Council of Deans of Apprenticeship, Trades and Technology (NCDATT) as well as vice chair of the Alberta Deans of Apprenticeship and Trades (ADAT).
Ray Massey, president, Skills Canada Alberta
Ray is a lifelong champion of apprenticeship education. Ray currently serves as the president of Skills Canada Alberta, a non-profit organization that encourages youth to explore skilled trades and technologies careers through Olympic-style competitions. He recently was elected secretary of Skills Compétences Canada. Ray has earned a journeyperson certificate with Red Seal Endorsement in the painter and decorator trade. As a business owner, Ray was always eager to apprentice new workers and help others develop their skills and build successful careers. He continues to lead by example and has served on boards of several apprenticeship and trades organizations, including the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board, the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship, the Interprovincial Alliance of Board Chairs of Canada, and the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum.
Andy Neigel, president and CEO, CAREERS: the Next Generation
Andy is currently the President and CEO of CAREERS: The Next Generation Foundation. Prior to his work with CAREERS, Mr. Neigel provided leadership in the forest industry for more than 25 years.
Andy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in forestry at the University of Alberta and a Forestry Diploma at the Northern Alberta. He is a retired Registered Professional Forester both in Alberta and in British Columbia and a graduate of the Queen’s School of Business, Executive and Leadership programs. In 2015, he received his ICD.D designation through the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Currently, Andy is Board Director on the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
Terry O’Flynn, president and founding partner, Prism Flow Products Inc.
For decades, Terry O’Flynn has been supporting Alberta’s oil and gas industry and the community. Terry is the President and founding partner of Prism Flow Products Inc. and enjoys numerous business interests in Alberta and Western Canada. He has contributed his business and governance experience to several boards and fundraising initiatives. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Alberta Enterprise Group, the Board of the Jerry Forbes Centre for Community Spirit, and with his wife, Grace, is Co-Chair of the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. He has served in the past on numerous boards including the Alberta Alpine Ski Association, the Canadian National Ski Team, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, the CFL’s Edmonton Football Club; as well as several private industry company advisory boards. Terry, Grace and their family of 8 have resided in Beaumont for 38 years.
Terry Parker, executive director, Building Trades of Alberta
Prior to serving as the executive director of the Building Trades of Alberta, Terry was the executive director of the Saskatchewan Building Trades Council for twelve years. Terry has worked as a glazier and as a business agent for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. His extensive time in leadership roles has given him a wealth of experience in the unionized construction and maintenance industries. Terry is a graduate of the University of Manitoba, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.
Dennis Perrin, Alberta and prairies director, Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC)
Dennis provides oversight and support for CLAC’s operations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Dennis began his career with CLAC in 2004, and has worked in its Edmonton, Fort McMurray, and Saskatoon offices. Dennis is now based in Edmonton and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and environmental studies from The King’s University in Edmonton. He is a former member of the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board, and is passionate about the skilled trades. He’s worked closely with like-minded organizations such as Skills Canada and the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum to advance the skilled trades a viable and necessary career path.
Amanda Rosychuk, senior vice-president, Drainage Services, EPCOR, and board chair, Women Building Futures
Amanda leads Drainage Services for EPCOR Utilities, where she is responsible for the maintenance, design and construction of the sanitary and stormwater systems providing safe and reliable services to the citizens of Edmonton. Prior to this position, Amanda held various senior operational roles and provided leadership and governance in the cross-company functions of Human Resources, Information Services, and Public and Government Affairs. Amanda joined the Board of Directors of Women Building Futures and currently serves as Board Chair. Women Building Futures is a non-profit organization that empowers women and transforms their lives by preparing them for careers leading to economic prosperity through industry recognized training in maintenance and construction related trades and the driving and operating industries. Amanda holds a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from the University of Alberta and is a graduate of the executive masters of business administration program.
Tony Tomkiewych, presiding officer, Provincial Apprenticeship Committee-Industrial Mechanic (Millwright)
Tony is a champion of skills and apprenticeship education. He has been involved with skilled trades since the age of sixteen. His interest in the skilled trades led to a Red Seal as a journeyperson Industrial Mechanic (Millwright). As an employee, Tony was always eager to encourage apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship opportunities with his employers and help others develop their skills and build successful careers. He continues to act as an ambassador for skilled trades to local youth and schools in his rural community. As a member of the Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) Provincial Apprenticeship Committee since 2012, Tony helps improve Alberta’s apprenticeship and industry training system. He is an active skilled trades professional with Pembina Pipeline Corporation.
Paul Verhesen, president and CEO, Clark Builders
As President and CEO of Clark Builders (2005 – 2019), Paul grew Clark Builders to one of the top general contractors in Canada. A strategic leader, Paul values innovation, technology and continuous improvement. He is a past board member of the Canadian Construction Association and past chair of the Edmonton Construction Association/Alberta Construction Association. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering and maintains his Professional Engineering Certification with APEGA and continues to support Clark Builders as a Board Director.
Colin Ward, chief operating officer, Ward Bros. Construction Ltd.
As chief operating officer at Ward Bros. Construction Ltd., Colin leads one of the largest general contracting and consultation management businesses in Southern Alberta. Colin joined Ward Bros. Construction after graduating from the civil engineering technology program at Lethbridge College. Throughout his career, he has had significant board experience, having served on the Alberta Construction Safety Association, Economic Development Lethbridge, Lethbridge College Foundation, Lethbridge Construction Association, as well as the Alberta Construction Association, which he chaired in 2011-12.
Jason Wright, director, Education & Apprenticeship, Sheet Metal Workers Local 8 and president, Building Trades of Alberta Training Society
A sheet metal journeyperson who also holds a Red Seal, Jason has worked across western Canada in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors, and as an educator. He is currently the director of education and apprenticeship for the Sheet Metal Workers International Association in Alberta and is active in training, coaching and tutoring apprentices in multiple disciplines. He is a national construction safety officer and a certified Oil Sands Safety Association instructor, sits on several provincial and national trades boards, and collaborates with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training to improve and enhance legislation, curriculum and exams for new and changing trades.