Skills/Compétences Canada and Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists Launch National Skilled Trades and Technology Week

Annual event draws attention to the impending shortage of skilled trade and technology workers and the growing career opportunities available to youth

OTTAWA, Nov. 1, 2011 /CNW/ - Skills/Compétences Canada, a national not-for-profit organization that actively promotes careers in skilled trades and technology, today hosted the official launch of National Skilled Trades and Technology Week 2011 at a joint event held at the Canada Museum of Science and Technology. This marked the kick off of activities taking place from October 31 to November 6, 2011 across Canada.

This year's theme is energy, underscoring the important role of building sustainable energy workforce to meet the needs of industry and future generations. To illustrate this theme, a 28 foot model wind turbine by Edey FX built by Algonquin College students was displayed and a model wind turbine competition was featured at the launch event. The Canada Museum of Science and Technology also introduced their dynamic new energy exhibit which included electric eels.

"Industries that depend on quality skilled trade workers are key drivers of our economy and contributes to more than 50% of Canada's GDP,"' said Shaun Thorson, Chief Executive Officer, Skills/Compétences Canada. "At the regional, provincial, territorial and national level, National Skilled Trades and Technology Week helps showcase and raise awareness to youth of the broad range of opportunities and benefits of pursuing professions in skilled trades and technology."

An initiative of Skills/Compétences Canada, National Skilled Trades and Technology Week is an annual event that generates awareness of the growing skilled labour challenges in Canada, and recognizes students developing trade and technology skills. According to the Conference Board of Canada, a shortage of more than one million skilled workers is forecasted by 2020, with an estimated 40% of all new jobs in the skilled trades and technology industries. The event includes interactive student skills demonstrations and activities across the country, hosted by Skills/Compétences Canada Provincial/Territorial offices.

"We are committed to having the most educated and skilled workforce in the world, so it is more important than ever that youth gain the skills and experience needed to prepare for and succeed in the jobs of tomorrow," said the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. "Through grants, tax credits and support for training programs, our government is encouraging apprenticeships and careers in the skilled trades and technology sectors."

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 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. Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Skills/Compétences Canada is the Canadian Member organization of WorldSkills International. For more information visit www.skillscanada.com or call 877-754-5226.

About CCTT
The Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT) establishes high standards of excellence for working professionals and is the national voice on issues such as pan-Canadian standards, national and international mobility, and national accreditation of technology programs. CCTT establishes and maintains the National Technology Benchmarks® in the following applied science and engineering technology disciplines: bioscience, industrial, building, instrumentation, chemical, mechanical, civil, mining, electrical, petroleum, electronics, geomatics, forestry, and information technology. CCTT's provincial associations are responsible for issuing these highly regarded credentials.

Note to Editors:  High resolution photos are available upon request.

SOURCE Skills/Competences Canada

For further information:

Media Contacts:

Christianne Scholfield
Skills/Compétences Canada
343 883-7545 or 613 282-3774
christiannes@skillscanada.com

Caroline McGrath
CMM Communications Group (for Skills/Compétences Canada)
416 972-1642 or 416-357-2702
caroline@cmm-communications.com

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