Skills/Compétences Canada Salutes UA Canada as a Multi-Year Presenting Sponsor of the Skills Canada National Competition

Canada's only national, multi-trade and technology event puts the spotlight on skilled trade and technology students and apprentices

OTTAWA, July 11, 2012 /CNW/ - Skills/Compétences Canada, a not-for-profit organization that actively promotes careers in skilled trades and technologies, today announced that the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry (UA Canada) has signed on as a Presenting Sponsor of the next three Skills Canada National Competitions. UA Canada is a multi-craft union whose members are engaged in the fabrication, installation and servicing of piping systems.

"Now more than ever, the push is on for industry and labour groups to be more proactive in raising awareness for youth of the many job opportunities available in the skilled trades. Organizations like the UA who sponsor skilled trade events, have discovered the value in engaging with industry associations and educational institutions to generate interest in the field, and gain the inside track on finding the brightest and the best skilled tradespersons," says Shaun Thorson, CEO of Skills/Compétences Canada.  "As Skills/Compétences Canada prepares to host the Skills Canada National Competition in Vancouver next year, it welcomes the generous support of UA Canada as Presenting Sponsor and this valued three-year partnership will enable us to promote the value of trades and apprenticeship."

Industries that depend on skilled trade workers are key drivers of the Canadian economy and contribute over 50% of Canada's GDP - or over $550 billion according to Statistics Canada. It also reports that 24 per cent of Canadian employers are unable to find the right skilled trades talent.

"Events such as our National Competition play such an important role in bringing talent and industry together," Thorson notes.

The UA was a Premier Sponsor of the 2012 Skills Canada National Competition, held May 13-16 in Edmonton. Under the new partnership agreement announced today, UA will be a multi-year Presenting Sponsor of the national skills competitions, beginning with the 2013 Skills Canada National Competition which will take place June 5-8, 2013 in Vancouver, B.C. The event brings more than 500 competitors representing over 40 trades from all provinces and territories to compete in Canada's only national, multi-trade and technology event of its kind for young skilled trade and technology students and apprentices.

"This Competition is a great opportunity for us to educate our youth and showcase the construction industry, and also give these young people information on what the trades are all about," says Larry Slaney, UA Canada. "We also look forward to being part of ensuring that everyone involved understands the importance of Apprenticeship for the future of Canada."

The Skills Canada National Competition provides an opportunity for students to be tested not only against industry standards, but also against their peers from across the nation in their chosen discipline. The event attracts school groups and young career-seekers who can take part in interactive Try-a-Trade® and Technology activities, as well as employers and recruiters, industry associations, labour groups, training institutes and government partners.

For more information on the next Skills Canada National Competition, click here.

About Skills/Compétences Canada
Skills/Compétences Canada was founded in 1989 as a national, not-for-profit organization that works with employers, educators, labour groups and governments to promote skilled trades and technology careers among Canadian youth. Its unique position among private and public sector partners enables it to work toward securing Canada's future skilled labour needs while helping young people and aspiring apprentices discover rewarding careers. Skills/Compétences Canada offers experiential learning opportunities including skilled trades and technology competitions for hundreds of thousands of young Canadians through regional, provincial/territorial, national and international events, as well as skilled trades awareness programs. Many programs highlight digital and essential skills, which are crucial qualifications in most careers of today.  Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Skills/Compétences Canada is the Canadian Member organization of WorldSkills International. For more information about Skills/Compétences Canada visit www.skillscanada.com, or call 877-754-5226.

About UA Canada
The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada - commonly known as "UA" - is a multi-craft union whose members are engaged in the fabrication, installation and servicing of piping systems. Founded in 1889, UA continues to be one of the most respected and influential building trades unions in North America. Its 326,000 highly-skilled members belong to over 300 individual local unions. In Canada, the association serves 51,000 members, including about 9,000 apprentices, through 37 local union offices across the country. UA Canada represents eight major trade classifications including: steamfitter-pipefitter, sprinkler systems installer (sprinklerfitter), plumber, metal trades workers, instrumentation technicians and mechanics, pipe welder, heating ventilation air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics, and specialty certified workers in all areas of the piping industry. UA is headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. For more information call 613-565-1100 or visit www.uacanada.ca.

Note to Editors:
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SOURCE SKILLS/COMPETENCES CANADA

For further information:

Media Contacts:
Caroline McGrath
CMM Communications Group (for Skills/Competences Canada)
416-972-1642
caroline@cmm-communications.com

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