SAULT STE. MARIE: Today Holy Cross Catholic School, grades 7 and 8’s attended one of the many Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (HSCDSB) Experiential Learning Skills Trades seminars at St. Mary’s College. These seminars are to expose young students to the potential of a future career in trades and apprenticeships through the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programs (OYAP). Students had the chance to get hands-on experiences with one of nine “Tricks of the Trades” stations, including an electrical station, hairstyling and esthetics, cabinet making, design, manufacturing, transportation, green industry, hospitality and tourism, and construction.
The Trick of the Trade stations were led by Experiential Learning Lead, Adriano Carota. Carota expresses the importance of trades and understanding that trades are a needed skill. “I’m hoping the students become aware that skilled trades are an option for them after high school and hopefully the next couple of years, as they approach high school, they’ll be able to explore a little bit more and hopefully find a trade that best suits them.”
The approach for addressing elementary school students is not necessarily to push them to make a decision right now. But to make them aware of what’s out there, and it’s not just colleges and universities.
“Introducing the students at a young age gives them a different perspective on what to do after high school. It offers them an opportunity to see that there is more than just going to university and colleges for the jobs we know, for example, like a doctor, nurse, lawers, or teacher. There are so many more job opportunities. By putting that little bug in their heads, about being a tradesperson, and that there is such a great demand for it. I think it opens those doors for them to know about what is there for them,” says Carla Vallecorsa, grade 7 and 8 teacher, Holy Cross Catholic School.
Students had the chance to explore their options and to get a better feel for the many opportunities in the workforce. All nine Trick of the Trades stations are based on courses offered at St. Mary’s College.
For further information on trades and apprenticeship opportunities, contact, https://oyap.com/en/index.cfm.