OETIM, registered as a Private Vocational Institute, The Operating Engineers Training Institute of Manitoba Inc., has been training workers in the hoisting and heavy equipment industries since 1986. The Manitoba Construction Industry turns to OETIM as the trusted source for Heavy Equipment Operator Training, Crane Training, Construction Safety courses and re-certification services.
National skills competition brings the country’s best to Winnipeg.
An expected 18,000 visitors and more than 500 youth are heading to Winnipeg this month for the 2017 Skills/Compétences Canada competition.
The event takes place May 31 to June 3, 2017, at the RBC Convention Centre.
The competition, which is in it’s 23rd year, will see Canada’s top youth and apprentices who are enrolled in trades training programs in colleges and high schools across Canada showcasing their skills. The competitions are represented in six sectors: Construction, Employment, Information Technology, Manufacturing and Engineering, Transportation, and Service.
Skills Canada says the event provides tremendous opportunities for students from not only the province of Manitoba, but the entire country, to develop a stronger appreciation for the importance of skilled trades and technology careers.
In the next 10 years it is expected there is going to be a demand for close to 12,000 jobs for skilled workers in the construction industry alone in Manitoba.
This past April, over 500 students took part in the 20th Annual Skills Manitoba competition at Red River College. Students competed in over 40 different contests with a chance to represent Manitoba at the upcoming Skills Canada event.
Every two years, the winners of the Skills Canada National Competition go on to compete at the WorldSkills Competition, where their skills are put to the test at an international level against the best in the world. Manitobans Ashley Weber and Silas Meeches will be a part of World Skills Team Canada 2017 taking place in Abu Dhabi October 14th to 19th.
Karen Crotty has always been interested in cars. After having two wonderful children, she decided to enroll in Red River College’s 18-month diploma program in Motive Power that was created for women only.
She graduated from the program, but after entering the industry, Karen’s passion shifted and she became interested in the parts field. A parts store she frequented offered her a job and she was hooked.
After gaining valuable experience at the parts store, Crotty successfully challenged the Trades Qualifier Partsperson Certification Examination with Apprenticeship Manitoba. She received her Red Seal Certification and has enjoyed working in the field ever since.
With the help of her husband and two grown children, she now runs a family business called Heads-up! Parts & Machine Shop.
Crotty says the partsperson trade involves managing and selling an inventory of parts for vehicles, appliances, machinery and equipment. In today’s mechanized world, equipment often wears out, breaks down or becomes damaged. Providing the parts needed to repair this equipment is an important aspect of the service provided by retail stores, agencies and repair shops/parts stores.
Crotty loves her occupation in the parts industry and was excited to be selected to attend the National Occupational Analysis (NOA) workshop in Ottawa. The NOA workshop is part of the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program and brings together experts like Crotty to identify everything competent tradespeople must know and be able to do in their trade. This includes updating the knowledge standards as well as identifying the scope of the trade and changing trends and technologies.
The Red Seal Program also develops standardized curricula and exams for certain trades, and its exams and certifications are recognized in many provinces and increase mobility for people in the trades. Like the industry, the Red Seal Program is constantly evolving, and its rigorous approach to developing standards ensures Canada’s skilled tradespeople are of the highest calibre.
Crotty enjoys giving her input and has a unique perspective as a woman in her trade. She especially enjoys being involved with presentations at local high schools that inform young girls about careers in the trades.
She says many youth have a misconception about what it means to be in the motor vehicle repair industry. It is no longer a “grease monkey” job, since the majority of the work involves technology and computers. Crotty feels she is a role model for young women because of her wide range of experiences in the industry, from being a Certified Partsperson to a manager, and finally, operating her own business.
Crotty is looking forward to taking the challenge of training her own apprentice. As her business and industry continues to expand, the knowledge that she can pass on to the next generation is invaluable.
If you enjoy working with people, have an interest in fixing things and enjoy helping others solve practical problems related to repairs, you may want to consider becoming a Certified Partsperson.
Some of the skills required are good manual dexterity and the ability to think visually. Since there are many types of equipment that need parts, Crotty suggests working in an area of special interest, as she did with motor vehicles.
In the most recent federal and provincial budget announcements, both levels of government have continued to maintain programs and financial aid that allow students at both the high school and university level to gain paid on-the-job work experience, as well as obtain grants available through both levels of government.
Apprenticeship programs are usually offered by high schools, colleges, and vocational schools, and help prepare those interested in a career in the trades.
Although most of the learning is on-the-job, there is also an in-class component through the learning institution where an apprentice will spend 80 to 85 per cent of his or her education and training in the actual workplace. At the end of the apprenticeship program, the graduating individual becomes a journeyperson and is certified to work in that trade.
The career opportunities are unlimited and range from construction and roofing to cooking and hairstyling.
Each province has its own list of designated trades that are eligible for this program, and most require you to enter with a formal Certificate of Qualification.
In Manitoba, there are over 50 trades that offer hands-on training, with a choice of trades in four sections that include Construction, Industrial, Transportation and Service trades. Apprenticeship Manitoba will cover your tuition costs when you attend technical training and they will often cover costs of attending technical training out of the province as well.
High School Apprenticeship Program
Manitoba also offers a High School Apprenticeship Program (HSAP) that allows students to start their apprenticeship training while still in school. It combines their regular high school instruction with paid, part-time, on-the-job training.
And the pay, in most cases, may be above average. As an apprentice, in the trade of your choice, your employer pays you as you learn on the job. And if you attend the in-school portion of your training, you can continue to obtain income through Employment Insurance.
With an ever-increasing demand for skilled trades professionals and the services they can provide once trained, many trade professionals earn salaries well above the national average income.
By the way, if you are an apprentice registered in one of the 55 Red Seal interprovincial certification trades programs that are recognized across Canada, you may also be eligible for up to $4,000 in federal government apprenticeship grants that can be used for tuition, travel, tools and other expenses.
Also available federally, is an apprenticeship incentive taxable cash grant of $1,000 per year and level of study, to a maximum of $2,000.
On completion of your apprenticeship, there is also a taxable grant of $2,000 that helps registered apprentices who have completed their training become certified journeypersons in a designated Red Seal trade.
For Manitoba students currently enrolled in high school or attending their first or second year of college or university, more information can be obtained by speaking to your teachers or faculty advisors.
On the Internet, go to the Manitoba government website, http://www.manitoba.ca, and check out the “Apprenticeship” and “Apprenticeship in High School” links. At the federal level, visit SkillsCanada.com.
As the baby boomer generation makes its way into retirement, economists are anticipating a major labour shortage in skilled trades across Canada, increasingly so over the next five years. This means that now more than ever, trade certification can be both a rewarding opportunity for career-minded individuals, as well as a vital contribution to Manitoba’s economy and the Canadian economy as a whole.