Six local youth are among the one hundred graduating high school students receiving a $1,000 scholarship. Students from 72 communities across Saskatchewan are receiving the Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship (SYA) Industry Scholarships this year.
In order to be eligible for the scholarship, students much complete the SYA program and plan to embark on a career in the skilled trades. Overseen by the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC), SYA gives students the opportunity to learn more about apprenticeship and the skilled trades.
Activities range from completing practical and applied arts courses to interviewing a journeyperson to completing at least one day of on-the-job work experience. Jeremy Harrison, Immigration and Career Training Minister, hopes the students find success in their careers going forward.
“The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to developing a workforce that is industry-ready, trained and certified, and that meets the needs of our evolving labour market,” said Harrison. “We wish the students who have received SYA Industry Scholarships success in their future careers, and look forward to them becoming Saskatchewan’s business leaders of tomorrow.”
Students in Meadow Lake, Battleford, Maidstone and Unity have chosen career paths ranging from welding, instrumentation and control technology, heavy equipment technology, construction electrical, plumbing and carpentry. In order to redeem the $1,000, students must demonstrate they’re actively pursuing a career in the skilled trades within two years of graduation – either by completing a pre-employment program or by registering as an apprentice in Saskatchewan and successfully completing Level 1 technical training.
Every year, educators co-ordinating SYA in their schools are invited to nominate at least one SYA graduate from their school. The SATCC also collects nominations from the Regina Industry Education Council, the Saskatoon Industry Education Council and the Regina Trades and Skills Centre. Since the scholarship launched in 2009, 56 industry sponsors have committed $740,000 to the fund. The Government of Saskatchewan has also invested through the Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunities Scholarship, bringing total contributions to $1.27 million.
Students who complete SYA receive significant benefits. If SYA graduates register as apprentices within five years of graduation, their apprenticeship registration fee is waived, their Level 1 technical training tuition is waived and they receive 300 trade time hours.
The SYA program has grown significantly over the last year. At the end of the 2017-2018 year, there were more than 2,500 students enrolled. Currently, there are more than 3,300 students enrolled – an increase of 30 per cent.