Welcome, my name is Brian Mullen. I am excited to have been selected as the next Chair of the Board of Directors for Skills Canada – Ontario. These continue to be very exciting times for our organization. I would like to thank Gary Cronkwright for the leadership he provided to the Board over the past two years. I would also like to thank our Executive Director, Gail Smyth and her remarkable team for their hard work and dedication to the thousands of young people we serve each year.
Next week, November 1 – 5, is National Skilled Trades and Technology Week. During this week we will introduce you to six young people from Ontario who will represent Canada at the 2011 World Skills Competition being held in London, UK. We will include photos from Skills At The Park, an event being held to celebrate the accomplishments of these six competitors before they take stage at the international competition. The Hon. John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, and the Hon. Leona Dombrowsky, the Minister of Education, will be speaking at this event.
National Skilled Trades and Technology Week is also an opportunity to recognize the importance of these career choices. I would like to share with you some very inspiring comments from a conversation one of our staff had with Peter Sweeney, President of St. Joseph’s International Outreach Program (IOP). From Haiti to Uganda to Yemen, the IOP has partnered with developing countries since 1986 to provide training in current medical and nursing techniques, transport basic medical supplies, and make donated equipment operational. Read their blog here.
Peter was part of an envoy that recently travelled to Haiti to continue their partnership with the Haitian Ministry of Health to support two world-class hospitals and provide care to people whose lives have been forever changed following the earthquake that rocked the nation.
When asked about the team of professionals that would be assisting in this particular trip, Peter explained that there would be several healthcare specialists, including doctors and nurses. After a brief pause, he said “But you know what, they simply cannot deliver care in a building that is not functional or without proper, working equipment. It takes the efforts of many engineers, skilled tradespeople and technologists on our team to provide those health care workers with the facilities and equipment they need in order to make a difference.”
There are probably hundreds of similar stories from the rescue missions following that devastating earthquake. And each story illustrates the importance and need for qualified skilled workers not only in Canada, but around the world.
At home we need to ensure that there is enough talent available so our partners from industry can grow their businesses in a very competitive global market. The call to action is for all of us to celebrate the success of the talented young people, like the team we’ll introduce to you soon, who have made a very important career choice. Who knows where their skill will take them?
Our team will continue its mission to inform thousands of students throughout the province of Ontario each year about careers in the skilled trades and technologies through our innovative programs. Please visit our website to learn more about these programs. We also have a collection of interesting stats and facts about skilled trade and technological careers available on our Facebook page.
If you have a story to share with us, our team would love to hear from you. Send your stories here.