Students Learn Steps for Success in the Skilled Trades

Posted On Thursday January 20, 2022
Loren and Eric
Eastdale CVI students Loren and Eric practiced assembling and disassembling a small engine.

More than 100 students elevated their skills at the Tools in the Trades Bootcamp

Five Durham District School Board (DDSB) schools hosted full-day Tools in the Trades Bootcamps, led by Support Ontario Youth (SOY). The events were open to students in the Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM), Technological Education, and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship/Co-Operative Education programs. Each event focused on one skilled trade sector determined by student interest at each school.

R.S. McLaughlin CVI and Eastdale CVI focused on transportation, Dunbarton High School focused on industrial millwright, G.L. Roberts CVI focused on horticulture and landscaping, and Port Perry High School focused on electrical. Students worked in teams to change tires on a race car, read schematics and assemble pumps, build a deck from design plans, and install residential electrical hookups. Workshop guidance was provided by industry professionals from The Pit Crew Challenge, red seal industrial mechanic millwrights, automotive, carpentry, electrical and welding journeypersons, and Landscape Ontario.

“We are really grateful to have five days with the Support Ontario Youth Tools in the Trades Bootcamp,” said Jennifer Parrington, DDSB Specialist High Skills Major and Technological Education Facilitator. She added, “An event like this can spark interest in all the different skilled trades pathways and provides career insight to students seeking support and mentorship for that next step after high school.”

All events provided students with the opportunity to spend half of the day learning what employers are looking for, gaining resume and interview skills, and meeting potential employers who are looking to hire apprentices. Experts shared helpful tips with students focused on:

  • How to build your professional network
  • What should be included in a resume and cover letter
  • How to prepare for an interview

Loren, a student at Eastdale CVI, said she has a strong passion for the automotive trade, “I’ve worked on cars and trucks my whole life because my family owns an automotive shop. I’m hoping to meet people in the field to ask their advice on how I can pursue an apprenticeship and eventually achieve my dream of becoming a diesel mechanic.”

Owen, a student at Port Perry HS, said he was looking forward to learning from the experts, “I enjoy learning whether it’s hands-on or in the classroom. I’m interested in becoming a teacher in the electrical trade like my teacher Mr. Burke.”

At the end of the day, every student walked away with an apprenticeship toolkit worth $250. Toolkits were stocked with tools specific to each trade focus and all included personal protective equipment.

Stephen Nevills, DDSB Superintendent of Education, talked about the importance of students realizing the value that their interests and skills carry, “Students have great skills from our high school programs and are seeking confirmation of these skills in their area of interest in the industry. Our hopes have been surpassed seeing students have that ‘aha’ moment when they realize the possibilities.”

The DDSB offers a diverse range of high school courses and programs to meet the individual needs of students. To learn more about available programs, visit the DDSB Secondary School Programs webpage