Sask Polytech Program to Increase the Number of Under-Represented Students in Trades

Saskatchewan Polytechnic already has a success story from a program that offers free-tuition to students considered to be under-represented in the skilled trades.

The federally funded program has already offered courses in bricklaying and carpentry and one carpentry graduate is very unique.

Sask Polytech Coordinator of the Creating Opportunities Project says the disabled woman never thought she would be able to work as a carpenter.

Dalton Mervold says instructors adapted some tools and created a floor-model roof so she could develop shingling skills. The woman also did an 8-week job placement with the City of Saskatoon.

Mervold concedes she may not be able to work as a carpenter but has the training and knowledge to be an estimator or work at an order desk.

The program is meant to break down the barriers that keep women, Indigenous people, immigrants and the disabled from getting jobs in the trades and Mervold says that includes non-traditional areas like heavy equipment, parts, auto body and truck and transport technology.

The courses available range from one-week introductions to 20-week applied certificate training programs for the rest of this year as well as 2020 and 2021.

Mervold feels there is great demand for skilled tradespeople who come from all walks of life.


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