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RRC offers summer camps, work experience co-ops to connect youth to careers in skilled trades

June 10, 2014


From left: Apprenticeship and Certification Board Chair Leonard Harapiak; Minister of Jobs and the Economy Minister Theresa Oswald; RRC alum Nina Widmer (Bricklaying Apprentice); Reg Toews, Coordinator, Red River Technical Vocational Area High School Apprenticeship Program; RRC President Stephanie Forsyth.

More than 230 youth will gain awareness and exposure to the skilled trades through the province’s new Building for Tomorrow summer program – a series of educational camps and work experience programs delivered by Red River College and a network of other business, community and educational partners

“This summer, many of our children will have new opportunities to have fun while learning about a potential future career in various trades, including construction and transportation, trade and technology, hospitality and the culinary arts,” said Jobs and the Economy Minister Theresa Oswald. “Our government is focused on helping families and youth in exploring the many paths to good jobs and rewarding careers right here in Manitoba, and starting that conversation while kids are still in school.”

The province will support more than a dozen new camps during the summer, including RRC’s Girls Exploring the Trades and Technology (GETT) camps, which gives girls aged 12 to 14 the opportunity to design and build their own go-carts, while learning about the importance of science, math and industrial arts-based courses in high school.

Other camps include:

  • RRC’s Portage Campus will offer two one-week programs, introducing 32 Aboriginal youth (Grades 6 to 8) to various skilled trades; Assiniboine Community College will offer 15 participants introductory experiences in carpentry or culinary arts.
  • Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Association Inc., in partnership with RRC, will offer 15 Aboriginal youths (Grades 9 and 10) with opportunities to experience different trades, with a special focus on the culinary trades, while learning about the apprenticeship training model; participants will receive certified food-handler training and workplace hazard information system training.
  • University College of the North will provide 80 Aboriginal youth in Flin Flon with the basic skills needed for a successful career in the skilled trades.
  • Career Trek Inc., in partnership with the Manitoba Construction Sector Council and Winnipeg Technical College, will provide 24 Grade 9 youth with exposure to the carpentry trade.

“Red River College is a proud partner in the delivery of the Building for Tomorrow summer program at both our rural and Winnipeg campuses,” said RRC President Stephanie Forsyth. “Providing youth with hands-on exposure in educational opportunities in skilled trades helps grow Manitoba’s workforce through building awareness in training available at post-secondary institutes. It’s important to start these conversations early so youth can be made aware of benefits from a career in skilled trades.”

Minister Oswald also announced the launch of a new student apprenticeship work experience program, which creates new paid-training opportunities in the trades for students within the Manitoba government.

“As Manitoba continues to make record investments in infrastructure, there is an ongoing need to ensure Manitobans have the skills they need to take advantage of the jobs and opportunities these investments will create,” said Oswald, noting the new program creates opportunities for students to gain experience toward trades apprenticeships in carpentry, plumbing, electrical, mechanics and landscaping.

The government will work with school divisions and colleges to identify students with an interest in work experience; applications will also be available at

“Our keystone belief for the High School Apprenticeship Program (HSAP) is that we need to create more opportunities for students to succeed,” said Reg Toews, HSAP co-ordinator, technical vocational area, at RRC. “These initiatives benefit both students and employers and will foster stronger communities through these partnerships.”

The new student apprenticeship work experience co-op is part of the government’s public sector apprenticeship strategy, which also includes proposed legislation that would require apprenticeship opportunities be made available when contractors are working on public projects.

“We’ve heard loud and clear from employers in the trades that business is good in Manitoba and that journeypeople are in high demand,” said Minister Oswald. “We are working in partnership with employers and through our own programs to train more journeypeople, as part of Manitoba’s commitment to grow the workforce by 75,000 by 2020, while providing more opportunities for youth.”