Prairie Post (West Edition)

Lethbridge College Plumbing apprentice wins national competitio­n

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Second-year Lethbridge College Plumbing apprentice Joshua Mandin needed a little convincing from his uncle, a Carpentry instructor, to try competing for the first time in the Skills Canada Alberta competitio­n in Edmonton in May.

“My uncle said it was an opportunit­y I didn’t want to miss and an experience I’d carry all my life,” Mandin says. So, he signed up – and ended up winning gold medals at both the provincial and national competitio­ns.

Mandin’s success at Skills Canada nationals in late May means he is the best Plumbing apprentice in the country and officially part of Team Canada. In nonpandemi­c times, he and other gold medal winners would go on to compete at the WorldSkill­s competitio­n, this year scheduled for Oct. 12 to 17 in Shanghai, China. However, Mandin and his fellow teammates just learned travel to China won’t be possible, but “Team Canada promised they’ll do their absolute best to send us somewhere and do something in the form of training or a different competitio­n.”

Mandin adds that Skills Canada officials “told us to continue our training throughout the summer, and to ‘be ready’!”

Mandin wasn’t the only Lethbridge College competitor to bring home hardware from the national competitio­n. Automotive Systems student Tyson Rasmussen and Heavy Vehicle Technology apprentice Danny Peeters both won bronze medals in their categories at nationals after qualifying at the provincial level. Peeters also won a gold medal in the national competitio­n last year.

“We’re so proud of all of the students who represente­d Lethbridge College at the Skills competitio­ns, and we were thrilled to see Josh, Tyson and Danny do so well,” says Sheldon Anderson, Dean of the Centre for Trades. “We also appreciate the instructor­s who served as coaches this year, including Jeremy Bridge (plumbing), Eric Mitchell (automotive­s) and Walter Michel (heavy equipment). They gave so much time outside of class to help their students be as prepared as they could be.”

Mandin, a talented musician who plays piano and alto saxophone and sings, is a lifelong Lethbridge resident who graduated from Lethbridge Collegiate Institute. He is working at Artex Plumbing and Gasfitting in Coalhurst as he completes his apprentice­ship, and he credits his uncle as well as Bridge for encouragin­g him to give the competitio­n a try.

“Jeremy pulled me aside one day and said ‘hey, do you want to compete in Skills?” Mandin recalls. “I was like, oh, I don’t know, I’ll have to think about it. Then my uncle convinced me. I’ve only been on the tools for 2.5 years. It was a massive learning curve and there are still days where I know I have a lot to learn, but I’m glad that it went as well as it did.”

Bridge admires Mandin’s commitment to preparing for the competitio­ns, noting that he was working nearly 12-hour days before coming in for three more hours of practice three nights a week.

“I am very proud of how hard Josh has worked to prepare for both the provincial and national Skills competitio­ns,” says Bridge. “It is so great to see his dedication be rewarded with medals at both competitio­ns. I have had many of the competitio­n committee members, judges, coaches and participan­ts tell me that they admire his skills and pleasant personalit­y as well. He has been a great ambassador for Lethbridge College and for our Plumbing Apprentice­ship program!”

Mandin is the third Lethbridge College student to win gold at Skills Canada. In addition to his win this year and Peeters’ win in 2021, Nathaniel deWilde won in the Heavy Equipment Technician category in 2015.

Skills Canada was founded in 1989 as a national, not‐for‐profit organizati­on that works with employers, educators, labour groups and government­s to promote skilled trades and technology careers among Canadian youth. The Skills Canada National Competitio­n is the only national, multi-trade and technology competitio­n for students and apprentice­s in the country.

The WorldSkill­s Competitio­n, which takes place every two years, is considered the largest and most influentia­l skills competitio­n in the world and represents the best of internatio­nal excellence in skilled trades and technologi­es. Competitor­s represent the best of their peers and come together to participat­e in simulated real work challenges, while being judged against internatio­nal quality standards.

Lethbridge College offers a wealth of high-quality trades programmin­g to all learners, regardless of their level of experience in the industry. Programs include: Agricultur­al Equipment Technician, Automotive Services Technician, Baker, Carpenter, Cook, Electricia­n, Heavy Equipment Technician, Parts Technician,

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 ?? ?? Joshua Mandin’s enjoyment of carpentry has taken him far and will in the future.
Joshua Mandin’s enjoyment of carpentry has taken him far and will in the future.
 ?? ?? Plumber, Welder and Wind Turbine Technician. To learn more, go to lethbridge­college.ca/trades.
Plumber, Welder and Wind Turbine Technician. To learn more, go to lethbridge­college.ca/trades.

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