What I learned at SCNC 2014

By Jacob Gervais-Miguel

I am 17 years-old and this past June I attended my first Skills Canada National Competition as a volunteer.

I had never heard of such an event before. My mom, who was working with Skills Canada, tried explaining what it was. I was baffled by how people could compete in plumbing, landscaping and hair dressing. I had never given much thought to the trades and it didn’t sound very interesting.

When I got there however, I saw that the people competing were kids around my age. They were all working so hard, took pride in what they did and looked like they were having so much fun. I wanted to jump in and join them.

I was also surprised to see that skilled trades are not only things like carpentry or electrical. There were competitions in things like cooking, photography, website design, IT, video editing, car painting and robotics. And, there were so many trades that I didn’t even know existed.

At the end, when I saw the finished products of the competitors, I was amazed that they were able to complete these complex projects in a matter of days. It was clear why they’re the best in Canada and maybe one day the world.

I always thought that I would go straight to university after high school, but now I have a lot to think about. Maybe one day I will be able to say that I am the best in the world at a trade.