REGINA, SASK. — One-hundred graduating high school students have received scholarships from the Saskatchewan government that will expose them to skilled trades opportunities.
The $1,000 scholarships were awarded to students in 72 communities across the province through the Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship (SYA) program, which is overseen by the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC).
Through the SYA program, students can learn more about the designated skilled trades that participate and take part in hands-on learning with industry professionals to get an idea of what they would like to pursue as a career when they graduate.
Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison expressed gratitude to the industry sponsors who have invested in Saskatchewan’s young people through the scholarship program.
“You are encouraging youth to consider rewarding careers in the skilled trades,” he said in a statement.
Since the scholarship’s inception, 55 industry sponsors have provided $725,000 to the SYA Industry Scholarship fund. The Government of Saskatchewan has also provided funding through the Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunities Scholarship, which brings the total contributions to more than $1.25 million.
Teachers from schools participating in the program nominate at least one student to receive the SYA scholarship each year. For students to receive funding they must pursue a career in the trades, explains a release.
The SATCC’s 2017 Employer Satisfaction Survey indicated both students and prospective employers benefit from the SYA program. Thirty per cent of employers indicated SYA graduates perform as well or better than other employees, and more than 90 per cent of apprentices who completed the SYA program indicated the SYA activities were useful in preparing them to become apprentices and that they received significant benefits.
One of the scholarship recipients, Brenna Pelletier, plans to work as a carpenter and is graduating from Dr. Martin LeBoldus Catholic High School in Regina. According to the release, she completed the SYA program through the Trades and Skills Construction Apprenticeship Program at the Regina Trades and Skills Centre.
“I am honoured and privileged to be receiving a Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship Industry Scholarship,” Pelletier said. “The scholarship will help me continue my pursuit of carpentry in construction and will be very beneficial in my upcoming year of working in the trades.”