Hammers will be swinging, sparks flying and cameras rolling at the Timberline Secondary/North Island College campus on March 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. as the school hosts the Skills Canada BC Vancouver Island North regionals, an Olympic-style trades and technology competition.

Skills Canada is a non-profit organization that partners with government, educators, private industry and labour to promote and celebrate the skilled trades and technologies as possible first choice careers for young people across each province.

Skills Canada BC hosts 13 regional and one provincial competition each year. Winners of the regional competitions advance to the provincials, which will be held at the Abbotsford Tradex Centre April 15. From the provincials, students have the chance of advancing to the national skills competition in Saskatoon from May 27 to 30.

Over 100 students will compete at the Vancouver Island North regionals in: 2D and 3D computer animation; mechanical CAD; automotive service; cabinetmaking; carpentry; culinary arts; digital art; electronics; graphic design; robotics; TV and video production; website development; and welding.

The competitions serve two main purposes. The first is to celebrate and reward students for excellence in their mastery of trade and technology skills by involving industry in evaluating skills to keep training relevant to employers’ needs. The second is to create an interactive and engaging environment for the thousands of young people who attend the competitions as spectators.

Young spectators are provided many opportunities to experience a wide variety of skilled trade and technology careers by watching the competitions, participating in First Hand demonstrations and networking with the hundreds of industry and educational experts in attendance.

(School District 72)