Apprenticeship Awards


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T he Highest Achievement Awards for Apprenticeship Manitoba are held each spring to recognize graduating apprentices with the highest academic performance in each designated trade. This event also recognizes the significant contributions that employers make to the success of these graduates. This year the awards ceremony took place April 16 at Red River College at the Roblin Centre, 1600 Princess Street. "The marks are noted on the transcript and diploma for our graduates and it is such an important moment for them. I've had graduates tell me years after they finished the program how much this awards ceremony and recognition means to them. It's wonderful," shares Cordella Friesen, executive director of Apprenticeship Manitoba. Honouring 40 newly certified journeypersons, this year's event marks the 71st anniversary of the apprenticeship program. With over 55 trades available for certification, the career paths are endless. While many of these highest achievers will work on the ground in their chosen field, they may also use their certification to become instructors, inspectors, trainers and contractors, effectively mentoring new apprentices and educating the next generation of skilled workers. "Things have changed and continue to change," explains Friesen, "for our apprentices and the industries with which we work to ensure their needs for future skilled workers are being met. We have more than 10,000 apprentices currently enrolled in our programs." Some apprentices may still be in high school. That's because for almost 20 years now students can obtain credits as part of their curriculum and put those toward their final certification. It's a great combination of on- the-job training while still in school. Eighty per cent is on-the-job working in the trade with a journeyperson and 20 per cent is classroom learning. A journeyperson who uses effective mentoring/coaching skills encourages the apprentice to become more proficient and self-reliant. Hiring an apprentice is a smart business move in more ways than one. One-third of Canada's current workforce will retire by 2030. This means competition will get tough for employers looking to attract and retain good workers. Adds Friesen, "These days our apprentices not only learn about their trades, but they are also being taught how to run a business and how to treat clients. It's a great time to be an apprentice and show how certification can evolve into entrepreneurship." In the last few years, programs have had to adapt to changes in industry such as green technology (mechanics learning how to fix hybrid cars, for example), stronger commit- ments to recycling and the environment, and encouraging women to pursue careers in the trades. "What we do here affects people's livelihoods and their abilities to provide for and support their families. We get to work with Manitoba's top employers and industry leaders to shape the workforce of the future", said Friesen. "We cannot afford to be stagnant, rather we are in constant evolution, change, and embracing innovation to serve our apprentices and industry best. It's an exciting time." Apprenticeship AwArds honour top Achievers CONGRATULATIONS! CONGRATULATIONS! CONGRATULATIONS! CONGRATULATIONS! Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology would like to congratulate the winners of the 2015 Apprenticeship Manitoba Highest Achievement Awards. Having provided Manitoba's future apprentices with hands-on training for 29 years, Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology is honoured to continue to be a chosen source of education for the men and women who are destined to become the leaders of our skilled trades industries. 204.989.6500 2 h i G h e s t A c h i e v e M e n t A w A r d s 2 0 1 5 By Susie Erjavec Parker For the Free Press

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