Brilliant young minds from across the province bring their trades and technology deftness to Kamloops on March 8 for the annual Skills Canada B.C. competitions.
From baking to welding to 3D computer animation design, competitors put their math and science knowledge to the test while challenging their problem solving, teamwork and creative thinking skills.
Thompson Rivers University will host secondary, post-secondary and apprenticeship students to compete in Olympic-style contests.
The local event is part of a series of regional contests held throughout B.C. in March to qualify for provincials in April where finalists can advance to the Skills Canada National Competition.
From June 5 to 8, Vancouver will host the national event at B.C. Place, with over 500 competitors competing in 40 contest areas each vying for a chance at a gold medal.
This year's Skills Canada B.C. contest will also be the backdrop for the province's new Discover Trades and Technologies First Hand program, which offers students between the ages of 11 and 18 an opportunity to try a variety of interactive pursuits.
Industry representatives and educators will guide spectators through activities while sharing their experiences about their careers.
The provincial government is keen on the competitions as a means of promoting skilled trades as a career option for youth.
"From bakers, chefs and automotive technicians to heavy equipment operators and construction workers, trades will be in high demand over the coming decade," said B.C. Labour Minister Pat Bell in a press release.
"By 2020, there will be one million job openings and 43 per cent will require trades or technical training. We are investing $75 million in upgrading training facilities, equipment and access to teachers and this will put B.C. students first in line for jobs that are close to home."
© Kamloops Daily News