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Skills Ontario holds #SkillsAtHome challenges to promote the trades

Usually the competitions would be held in-person at schools, but have since had to pivot online
Skills Ontario 2019 DSB1-59-2
Supplied photo

Skills Ontario is holding online challenges to encourage young people to learn and explore careers in the trades.

The Waterloo-based non-profit has been around for over 30 years, and normally holds its presentations and competitions in-person. However, with the pandemic going on, they had to pivot into an online space.

"So we have been trying to make sure young people are aware of what were doing, and offering them opportunities to get that experience and to have some fun with it, while they are at home looking for things to do, and learning at the same time," Skills Ontario CEO, Ian Howcroft said.

They're holding a series of contests this year, including rollercoaster building, cookie decorating, wacky hairstyles and the latest being a bridge-building challenge. Young people are to use toothpicks and marshmallows (or any of the substitute materials listed on their site), and try to hold the most dimes.

To participate, folks are asked to shared their submissions to Twitter, tagging @SkillsOntario and using the hashtags #SkillsAtHome and #SkillsBridgeChallenge.

Winners will be contacted and awarded with prizes from Skills Ontario and their many partners. The submission deadline is May 25, and more info can be found here.

According to Howcroft, they're hoping to be back in schools come September, but it will largely depend on the government response at that time. For now, they will continue their contests and conferences online. In early May, they were able to hold their Young Women's Conferences online, which saw around 13,000 people to watch.

"We are trying to look at all opportunities, where we can get into people's home, and service them remotely, during the pandemic, and look at how we can offer assistance and continue to meet our mandate," he said.

For more information and resources on how young people can get into the trade, head to the Skills Ontario website.

Phi Doan

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