Trades promoted through clubs and competitions

Education Minister Patrick Rouble wanted to bake a carrot cake, but a high school student stopped him.

Education Minister Patrick Rouble wanted to bake a carrot cake, but a high school student stopped him.

Ayla Smith, gold medal winner at the Skills Canada Yukon games, told Rouble dicing carrots was his only job.

Smith was in the Yukon College cafeteria kitchen to teach Rouble how to safely and sanitarily dice carrots.

The stunt followed a Monday afternoon funding announcement for the organization that helped Smith find her knack for cooking.

Skills Canada Yukon will receive $250,000 from Ottawa and about $78,000 from the territory.

The money will be used to promote trades to youth and support participation in skills challenges.

Skills Canada is a nonprofit organization designed to move youth into trades and technology careers, which range from industrial work, like welding and machining, to cooking and website design.

Not enough information exists about careers in the trades, and this makes it difficult for youth to secure good jobs, says the organization.

More than 300 volunteers help with the Yukon chapter, which runs community skills clubs in the territory.

Ottawa will also spend $13.4 million hosting the 2009 international skills challenge, WorldSkills in Calgary.

About 400 trades apprentices work in the Yukon — the highest ever, said Rouble.

“The Yukon economy is making a resurgence and people in the trades will contribute greatly,” he said.

“And (the jobs) are rewarding to the pocketbook, too.”

Services Canada’s funding was announced by local director Nathalie Dugas on behalf of Human Resources and Social Development Minister Monte Solberg.

He was scheduled to appear at the Yukon College news conference to make the $250,000 announcement, but mechanical problems grounded his plane in Vancouver.

Had his plane not broken down, his whistle-stop appearance in Whitehorse would have been unusual.

On July 8, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Rona Ambrose flew to Whitehorse to make a multimillion-dollar announcement on Solberg’s behalf.

Behind the podium during this latest announcement stood five youth who competed successfully in the last national skills competition.

Yukon competitors nabbed three silver medals and two bronzes at the Skills Canada nationals in Calgary in May.

Karl Loos, 19, advanced to the world’s in 2009 for his work in computer numerical control machining.

Skills Canada opened his eyes to a rewarding career in trades, said Loos.