DISCOVERING THE SKILLED TRADES
Getting younger generations interested in careers in skilled trades
has never been more important. This program is designed to help.
By Jeff Ritter, Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission
The Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship (SYA) Program exposes
high school students to opportunities in the skilled
trades. Launched in 2004 and overseen by the Saskatchewan
Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC), the program
has experienced significant growth over the last year – and students
who complete it receive valuable benefits.
At the end of 2018–19, more than 3,300 students were registered in
SYA, an increase of 30 per cent over 2017–18. The diversity of participants
has also increased. The number of female students participating increased
by approximately 25 per cent by the end of 2018–19 and the number of
Indigenous students participating increased by 17 per cent. At the end of
2018–19, 26 per cent of SYA participants self-identified as female and 20
per cent of participants self-identified as Indigenous.
The SYA program is meant to be exploratory; it helps students determine
whether or not apprenticeship and a career in the skilled trades might
be right for them. SYA is made up of 12 activities – everything from researching
and writing a report on a designated trade to interviewing a journeyperson
to completing at least one day of on-the-job work experience.
These activities are designed to help youth learn more about apprenticeship
and careers in the skilled trades.
Those who complete SYA and register as apprentices within five years of
graduation receive 300 trade time hours and their apprenticeship registration
fee and Level 1 technical training tuition is waived.
SYA completers also have the opportunity to earn an SYA Industry
Scholarship in their Grade 12 year. We ask our SYA Champions – the educators
who coordinate SYA in their schools – to nominate at least one
thinkbigmagazine.ca | Quarter 2 2020 | Think BIG 35