The Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) announced Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship (SYA) Industry Scholarships for 100 graduating high school students in 72 communities across the province on June 25.
The scholarships, redeemable for $1,000 each, are issued within two years of graduation only once recipients demonstrate they are actively pursuing a career in the skilled trades – either by registering as an apprentice and completing Level 1 technical training, or by completing a pre-employment course in a trade designated in Saskatchewan.
“The skilled trades are essential to our province’s economic growth,” Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “The Government of Saskatchewan recognizes how important it is to build a diverse skilled trades workforce, one that is responsive to industry’s needs. Congratulations to the scholarship winners. We wish you all the best as you embark on your career paths.”
Every year, educators who oversee SYA in their schools are invited to nominate at least one graduating student for the SYA Industry Scholarship. The SATCC also seeks nominations from the Regina District Industry Education Council, the Regina Trades and Skills Centre and the Saskatoon Industry-Education Council.
This year, the winners in Assiniboia and region included Ian Cristo of the Assiniboia Composite High School, who won the Industry Scholarship to be an Automotive Service Technician.
Rainer Volke from Big Beaver, who attended Bengough School, earned the CLR Saskatchewan Scholarship to be an industrial mechanic/millwright/machinist.
Tyler Bouffard from Kincaid Central School obtained the Allan Construction Scholarship in carpentry.
Greg Empey, also from Kincaid, was awarded with the RF Ventures Scholarship in carpentry.
Fletcher Starke of Lafleche Central School collected the EECOL Electric (Jim Sinneave) Scholarship to be a powerline technician.
Jace Carey of Vanguard, who attended the Ponteix School, achieved the Industry Scholarship to be a welder.
Tiara Thiessen, another 2019-20 SYA Industry Scholarship winner, will graduate from Kerrobert Composite School. She is interested in pursuing a career as a welder or metal fabricator (fitter).
“I have always been a dreamer,” Thiessen said. “As I enter the next chapter of my life, I rest assured that I am prepared to follow my dreams. The SYA program not only granted me the funds to start my career, but the essential knowledge on becoming a journeyperson as well. I am very thankful that I was introduced to this amazing learning opportunity that is helping me turn my dreams into reality.”
Scholarship recipients must finish the SYA program exposing students to opportunities in the skilled trades. Students complete 12 activities, including interviewing a journeyperson, researching and writing a report on a designated trade and completing the Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course.
Students who complete SYA and register as apprentices in Saskatchewan within five years of graduation receive valuable benefits. Their apprenticeship registration fee is waived; Level 1 technical training tuition is waived; and they receive 300 trade time hours.
The scholarship program, launched in 2009 and overseen by the SATCC, relies on the continued investment of industry sponsors. To date, 59 sponsors have invested almost $750,000 in the fund.
The Government of Saskatchewan has also invested through the Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunities Scholarship, bringing total contributions to nearly $1.28 million.
More than 300 schools and more than 4,000 students are registered in the SYA program with participation continuing to grow. Student enrollment in 2019-20 increased by 26 per cent over 2018-19.
To learn more about the SYA program, visit www.saskapprenticeship.ca/youth_apprentices or call 1-877-363-0536.