What in the World is Happening??? CAF-FCA decided to find out!

OTTAWA, Nov. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - When 1,000 of the best and brightest in the world of skilled trades converged in September to compete in WorldSkills Calgary 2009, Canada's "Great 38" were ready to take them on! Representing over 50 countries in 45 skills categories, participants competed for gold, silver and bronze medals while setting world-class standards in skilled trades and technologies.

Team Canada took on the world with 31 male and 7 female competitors ranging in age from 18 to 22 and took an impressive 8 Medals and 13 Medallions of Excellence. This is Canada's best overall results from any WorldSkills Competition over its 55-year history.

With this as its backdrop, Canadian Apprenticeship Forum - Forum canadien sur l'apprentissage (CAF-FCA) capitalized on the international setting by hosting Apprenticeship in a Global Perspective: Engaging Employers and Investing in Apprenticeship Training. This important initiative provided an opportunity for guest panelists from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada to learn about each other countries' best practices in areas of apprenticeship and training.

The four panelists included Terrence Harrison, Group Training Manager at ArcelorMittal in South Africa; Lucie Wenmakers, Group Manager, Corporate Affairs at the NZ Motor Industry Training Organization (Inc) in New Zealand; Charles Pickford, Director of Employer Partnerships (Private Sector) for Foundation Degree Forward (fdf) in the U.K., and Emily Arrowsmith, researcher with CAF-FCA in Canada.

A repeated message throughout the dialogue was the importance of sharing data behind the business case for apprenticeship training with employers and that such training should be viewed as an investment rather than a cost. Valuable insights were exchanged and everyone present realized the value of continuing international conversations in meeting shared challenges.

The CAF-FCA Board welcomed delegates from New Zealand, the U.K., South Africa, France, Australia and Belgium. Canadian stakeholders attended as well, including James Knight, President and CEO of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) and Joe Black, Chair of the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship.

As the dialogue drew to an end, panelists and delegates combined, made compelling recommendations for what they could do within the next 30 days. There is room for engagement on a number of issues and there are opportunities to impact and support each other around the world.

If you were not fortunate enough to be in the room, you can still check out http://www.caf-fca.org/en/forum/apprenticeship_global.asp for video clips of presentations, Q&A and panelists' recommendations/advice for the assembled delegates. Just like at WorldSkills, Canada has made an impressive showing in the world of apprenticeship training and skilled trades.

This project was funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program and with the generous support of Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) and Government of Alberta.

Funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program, CAF-FCA is the only inclusive national body that brings together all players in apprenticeship training. CAF-FCA works under the guidance of its Board of Directors, who represent every aspect of the apprenticeship community. Our work has brought to light a number of key issues that affect apprenticeship training - such as perceived barriers to training; the business case for apprenticeship; and the importance of promoting apprenticeship training as a valued and respected choice for post-secondary education. For further information: http://www.caf-fca.org


For further information: For further information: Margo Royce, Communications Manager, (613) 235-4004 ext. 207, margo_royce@caf-fca.org

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