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Okanagan College hosts 2013 SkillsBC Regional competition

More than 110 high school students from Revelstoke to Osoyoos will be testing their trades and technology skills at the Annual SkillsBC Regional Competitions this Friday at Okanagan College, Kelowna campus.

This marks the 17th year Okanagan College has held the event, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Centre for Learning.

The regional competition is one of 12 occurring around B.C., with gold medal recipients winning the right to represent their region at the Skills Canada BC provincial competition April 18 in Abbotsford.

Students will be demonstrating their skills in a variety of trades and technology fields including electronics, automotive, welding and graphic design, along with use of CAD for both architectural and mechanical design.

“These are highly complex and in-demand fields,” said Okanagan College SkillsBC Regional coordinator Dianne Holm. “Providing young students with access to these skills at an early age, and exposure to competitions such as this, helps to keep them engaged so they will become our next generation of highly skilled workers.”

The regional competition makes up just part of the College’s Annual Skilled Trades and Technology Event. There is also a Jr. Skills Competition with Grade 6 – 10 students racing their gravity vehicles (made only of wood or plastic with no mechanical or even rubber band assistance) down a ramp.

The event will be open to the public throughout the day with guided tours through the trade shops and the Culinary Arts kitchen. In addition, a variety of activity stations will be open featuring, among other things, a robotics demonstration, and even a chance to take apart and reassemble the ignition system for a small aircraft engine.

For a complete schedule of the day’s events, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/skillsbc. Live webcasting of the competitions starts at noon on Friday, with access available through the same website: www.okanagan.bc.ca/skillsbc.

Each year, more than 2,000 high school students around the province attend these competitions.

Skills Canada BC works with industry, government, and educators with the goal of decreasing the impending skilled labour shortage in the province by providing opportunities for young people across the province to celebrate and promote careers in the skilled trades and technologies.