Show­cas­ing their skills

Area ap­pren­tices bring home medals from na­tional competition

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION -

Two young men from the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion re­gion re­cently re­turned from the Skills Canada Na­tional Competition in Que­bec with their suit­cases a lit­tle heav­ier than when they left New­found­land.

They were car­ry­ing with them medals from their re­spec­tive competition ar­eas.

Michael Rowe of Green’s Har­bour and Berne Fitzger­ald of Har­bour Grace, both 24, were part of the 41 com­peti­tors of Team New­found­land and Labrador.

Over 500 sec­ondary and post­sec­ondary stu­dents and ap­pren­tices from across the coun­try com­peted in this an­nual four-day event, held June 1-4 in Que­bec City.

Thir­teen turned out to be a lucky num­ber for the pro­vin­cial team, as that was the ex­act num­ber of medals it brought home.

“ Team New­found­land and Labrador per­formed and be­haved with ut­most class and ex­cel­lence while at the na­tional competition,” said Ca­role Ann Ryan, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Skills Canada New­found­land and Labrador.

Rowe, who is em­ployed at Hick­man Mo­tors in Car­bon­ear, com­peted in the car-paint­ing competition, while Fitzger­ald com­peted in au­to­body re­pair. Both are ap­pren­tices at the Col­lege of the North At­lantic, Prince Philip Drive cam­pus, in St. John’s.

Rowe won the gold medal in his field, sur­pass­ing the sil­ver medal­ist by a sig­nif­i­cant mar­gin. In ad­di­tion, he won the cov­eted best-in-re­gion award for his out­stand­ing per­for­mances. Fitzger­ald was awarded the bronze medal in his field.

Hu­man Re­sources, Labour and Em­ploy­ment Min­is­ter Darin King said this prov­ince turned in the best per­for­mance in At­lantic Canada and was among the top medal counts in the coun­try.

“ They show­case the skills and ap­ti­tudes that are in great de­mand around the world, while si­mul­ta­ne­ously ex­plor­ing po­ten­tial ca­reers that may lead to long-term sus­tain­able em­ploy­ment. This is in­deed a great ac­com­plish­ment,” King said.

The com­pet­i­tive plat­form of the na­tional competition presents a con­struc­tive and cel­e­bra­tory venue, in­spir­ing stu­dents and ap­pren­tices to con­tinue the tra­di­tion of ex­cel­lence in the fields of skilled trades and tech­nolo­gies.

The $3 mil­lion event rec­og­nizes the im­por­tant and highly skilled work of young trades­peo­ple and tech­nol­o­gists na­tion­wide.

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