Getting to Know Donavon Elliott, President of Skills/Compétences Canada

What skilled trade or technology are you best at and how did you learn it?

I would say I am best in the electrical field. I took my apprenticeship at a potash mine (PotashCorp) in Lanigan Saskatchewan where I crafted my skills working under some great journeymen. I then wrote my Red Seal and became a journeyman electrician. I worked in maintenance until 1990 when I became an educator and started teaching high school students in the electrical field.

What advice would you give to future generations when they are choosing their career path?

I would tell them to make sure that they enjoy what they are doing. It’s important to experience different opportunities until you find the one career that excites you the most, and always remember that the world is changing so you need to be ready for those changes. If you have opportunities to take extra training you should always take advantage of it because someday this training may come in handy.

What is your fondest memory of a Skills event and why?

It would be in 1998 when I experienced my first Skills Canada National Competition in Vancouver. I had been an educator for 8 years and this was the first time that I saw students being showcased at a national event. I was bitten and knew that I needed to be part of this organization and the rest is history.

If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

At this time it would be Bobby Orr. I am just reading his book and it would be great to get to know him on a personal level.

What is the number one item on your bucket list?

At my age most of my list is completed, but one thing that is still on my bucket list is to see Skills Canada obtain the same level of support and recognition as do the Olympics. I believe that this would help even more young people and parents consider skilled trade and technology careers as viable options.