Hon. Diane Finley and Mike Holmes Participate in the Official Launch of
Skilled Trades and Technology Week 2009 at Humber College Event

    With only 199 days to the 16th Canadian Skills Competition, event
    highlights growing skilled labour challenges and career opportunities for

TORONTO, Nov. 2 /CNW/ - (HUMBER COLLEGE) - Skills/Compétences Canada, a national not-for-profit organization that actively promotes careers in skilled trades, today hosted the official launch of Skilled Trades and Technology Week 2009 at a joint event that also marked the opening of the new Humber Centre for Trades & Technology.

The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, along with Canada's Most Trusted Contractor, Mike Holmes, joined officials from Skills/Competences Canada in launching Skilled Trades and Technology week at the Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning. The launch was made official with a "Cutting of the Plank" ceremony which drew attention to the construction theme of the event.

"Our Government is dedicated to making Canada's workforce the best educated, most skilled and most flexible in the world," said the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. "Skilled Trades and Technology Week allows Skills/Compétences Canada to showcase the rewarding career opportunities these fields have to offer."

Canada recently hosted WorldSkills Calgary 2009, the world's largest demonstration of trade and technology talent. This years' event held from September 1-7, represented Canada's tenth participation in WorldSkills, and the second time hosting the prestigious event featuring 45 competition areas and 900 Competitors from 51 countries/regions.

"Industries that depend on skilled trade workers are key drivers of our economy and contribute over 50% of Canada's GDP," said Shaun Thorson, Executive Director, Skills/Compétences Canada. "At the regional, provincial and national level, Skilled Trades and Technology Week helps showcase and raise awareness for the broad range of opportunities to be found in the trades, while inspiring and encouraging youth to reach their unlimited options pursuing career paths in skilled trades and technology."

An initiative of Skills/Compétences Canada, Skilled Trades and Technology Week 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.

Through Skills Canada provincial/territorial offices, students across the country will take part in events to help develop their trade and technology skills to gain insight and inspiration into future career opportunities. Utilizing various trade and technology techniques including design, engineering and construction skills, students will participate in a variety of programs and competitions ranging from Cardboard Boat races, where students need to construct their own vessel and then keep it afloat and race it against others, to a fastener relay race, where students put their skills to the test by working as a team to fasten together a wooden box.

The 16th Canadian Skills Competition will take place in Waterloo, Ontario from May 20-23, 2010 and will be the final hurdle for many young trade and technology students to secure a Team Canada spot for the WorldSkills Competition taking place October 2011 in London, United Kingdom.

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

About Humber

Humber, a member of Polytechnics Canada, is committed to student success through excellence in teaching and learning. Humber's broad range of career-focused, educational programs include: apprenticeship, certificates, diplomas, bachelor's degrees and postgraduate certificates. With more than 350 full- and part-time programs from which to choose, the 21,000 full-time and 55,000 part-time students of Humber have access to many opportunities for continuous learning. Building from one credential to another, either at Humber or through transfer credit opportunities with more than 50 Canadian and international universities, students have multiple pathways to success. Humber maintains strong partnerships with industry, and trains more than 15,000 people annually through customized corporate training. Visit www.humber.ca.

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

SOURCE Skills/Compétences Canada

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Christianne Scholfield, Director, Communications, Skills/Compétences Canada, (819) 771-7545 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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