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Schools Out but our Skills jr Carpenters are In Action!

Skills Canada Nunavut is proud to offer Skills Summer Trades Camps this year, for students aged 12-14 in Iqaluit throughout the entire month of July. Funded by the Department of Family Services, Skills Canada Nunavut is excited to able to provide free summer programs as a way to expose youth to a variety of trades and technology careers, showing them first hand that the trades are made up of fun and engaging projects to do. Exposing youth to the excitement of trades before they hit high school could inspire future career choices- right here in their community.

The Skills Summer Trades Camps began with Carpentry. For two full weeks, students were tasked to build three outdoor playhouses (small cabins) under the direction of New Brunswick Community College instructor and Skills Canada National Technical Committee Member, Steve Austin. Students came into the program with little to no carpentry knowledge. They worked in teams of two and three to build each structure, while learning the foundations of carpentry and workplace safety every step of the way. After just a few hours, the campers were not only making quick progress on their projects, they were also learning that working with their hands to build something tangible can be rewarding, and a lot of fun!

The Skills Summer Carpentry Camp ran daily from July 3-13 at the workshop at Inuksuk High School. Since the weather in Iqaluit was so warm and beautiful, the students were working with the garage doors open to allow airflow. Skills Nunavut staff was worried the students would feel like they were missing out on the sunshine, but many of them even opted to come in on a Saturday to get an extra day of building done! Once they got started, they didn't want to stop. 

Not only did our carpentry campers benefit from the professional carpentry training, they also had trades math classes and employability skills workshops a few times a week with Skills Nunavut alumnus, Katie Devereaux; Katie competed for Nunavut in Job Search in Saskatoon and has lots of tips to share. While the youth were giving their hands and feet a break, the students got to type up their resumes, learn how to ask and answer formal interview questions, and craft their own professional cover letters. Each student got to experience the process of applying for a job- in this case a mock position of a Junior Carpenter- and then sit through an interview with Katie. Every one of them was qualified for the job!

At the beginning of the two weeks, the students were not sure if they would be able to complete their cabins. However, as they witnessed their new skills in action, they were motivated to finish the cabins by the end of camp. And they did, with big smiles on their faces. The trades and technologies really are perfect activities for youth: They provide a challenge, give youth an opportunity to problem solve and make decisions, have fun while being focused on a goal, and most importantly, trades like carpentry give youth self-confidence when they see the end result of all their hard work! All of our skilled campers were stoked to see their completed cabins and show their families. Stay tuned for the Skills Canada Nunavut cabin raffle!

Up next...Skills Summer Hairstyling Camp runs July 16-27!