PRINCE GEORGE – The Skills Canada British Columbia’s (SkillsBC) regional skills competition for the Central Interior will be held in Prince George at the College of New Caledonia on March 9 at 8 a.m.

The competition, one of 13 taking place throughout British Columbia, provides a platform for students from Grades 6 to 12 to showcase their talents in the skilled trades and technologies.

“The Regional Skills Competition and Trades Day is an exciting opportunity for students from our region to showcase their skills,” said CNC dean of trades, Frank Rossi. “It will challenge competitors to demonstrate their skills in the trades and technologies, while allowing our guests to learn a little more about the world of trades.  It also is an excellent opportunity to inform students about what it means to be a tradesperson and to guide them toward the professions available in the skilled trades and technology fields. We hope that they will be inspired to continue to develop their skills.”

“By 2024, B.C. is expecting almost one million job openings due to retirements and economic growth and it is anticipated that 80 per cent of these jobs will require post-secondary education or trades training,” said Shirley Bond, Prince George-Valemount MLA and Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training. “We want B.C. youth to be the first in line for these openings, which is why we strongly support events like regional skills competitions that allow students to showcase their talents in the skilled trades and technologies.”

“Competitions like these give our students hands-on experience, giving them exposure to fields such as construction, manufacturing and engineering,” Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris said. “By getting practical experience, they get to see the many career opportunities available to them.”

Students in secondary schools compete in a diverse range of skills competitions, while those in the lower grades compete in series of junior skills competitions, designed specifically for their skill level. Winners of these regional competitions advance to the provincial finals, held at Tradex in Abbotsford on April 13, where they have the chance of advancing to the national and/or WorldSkills competitions. The B.C. winners who advance to the national level competition will be recognized at the annual Skills Canada-BC gala.

Since 1994, SkillsBC has operated as a provincial not-for-profit organization, working with industry, educators, government and labour to promote rewarding and in-demand skilled trade and technology careers to B.C.’s youth.

To find out more about SkillsBC and the competition, visit SkillsCanada.bc.ca.