On November 17, 18 and 19, Mi’kmaw youth from all across Nova Scotia attended the second annual Nova Scotia Aboriginal Youth Skilled Trades Fair at the Comfort Inn in Halifax. Over three days, students explored skilled trades and learned about their apprenticeship processes, funding, education and training opportunities.
Students were separated into two groups with each group spending a day exploring the experiential skilled trades booths and a day taking their First Aid Certification. At the trades booths students spoke one-on-one with skilled tradespeople working in their respective fields. They learned about a typical workday on-the-job, and the necessary education and work experience required to build a career.
Robert Labradore, a student from Glooscap First Nation, said he couldn’t wait to recommend this training opportunity to students in his community.
“I’d tell them that if they want to make a difference in their career – do it! If you think you can’t do anything with your life without your grade 12, you’re wrong. This is another option to start a career.”
Donnie Richards, a teacher and chaperone from TEC in Eskasoni, was very impressed with the experience.
“The kids had a great opportunity by coming here. They get to experience the trades first hand. It’s an experience they can’t get from reading about in a book.”
The event was made possible with the help of ENCANA, the Nova Scotia Assembly of Chiefs, Nova Scotia Department of Education, Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, Native Council of Nova Scotia, Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey and its schools, Mi’kmaq Project for Innovation and Collaboration, and Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office of Nova Scotia.