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Future professionals look to make their mark on an industry

The next generation of Ontario trades professionals will be showing off their talents at RIM Park in Waterloo for the Skills Ontario’s Technological Skills Competition (OTSC). The three-day event begins on May 4, when 1,900 top students will compete in 67 contests that will allow them to showcase their technological skills to an audience of 20,000 students, educators, parents and potential employers.

For the competitors, this is just the beginning of an adventure that could take them to the National Skills Competition in Saskatoon later in May.

“It’s such an honour, each year, to watch the students discover a little bit about themselves and their future goals through these competitions,” says Gail Smyth, Executive Director of Skills Ontario.

There is an enormous demand for skilled trades professionals in Ontario, and a cavalcade of experts suggest that a trades-oriented education is a clear path towards a well-paying career.

“Not only are the trades a valuable and meaningful post-secondary pursuit, but you have the opportunity to earn while you learn. You can start your career with tens of thousands of dollars in the bank. I can’t think of another career path that can offer that kind of financial incentive,” says David Tsubouchi, Registrar and CEO of the Ontario College of Trades.

The College has also launched earnwhileyoulearn.ca, youth-targeted website that provides everything young people need to know about how to begin an apprenticeship in Ontario and the benefits of a career in the skilled trades.

There are 156 skilled trades in Ontario, and many of them are helping to grow Ontario’s economy.

In Waterloo, the OTSC offers youth a unique and exciting opportunity to explore careers in the skilled trades, design, and technology sectors at the Career Exploration Showcase. Students are able to watch as their peers demonstrate their impressive talents in a variety of activities from sheet metal work to brick masonry. Students are also free to check out over 70 exhibitor booths, many of which offer giveaways, prizes, and hands-on opportunities to feed their curiosity.

Winners at the OTSC can earn Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, cash rewards, and a chance to represent Ontario at the National Skills Competition in Saskatoon.

– News Canada

Posted: Apr 28, 2015

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