In recognition of National Skilled Trades and Technology Week 2015

I rise on behalf of the Liberal caucus to pay tribute to National Skilled Trades and Technology Week.

Skills Canada — this is how I’m going to focus in on this tribute — puts much though and effort into this week every year with a goal to promote the great opportunities that careers in skilled trades can bring. This year’s kickoff will be in the New Brunswick Community College in Moncton, and that event promises, as always, to be an important advocacy beacon for skills, trades and their successful contributions to the Canadian economy.

Mr. Speaker, this year’s theme is “From the Classroom to the Workplace Essential Skills Matter”. One of the most important skills that they are going to focus in on is oral communication.

Skills Canada wants our youth to know that communication skills are one of the top 10 skills required and requested by perspective Canadian employers. Skills Canada works to educate and to inform our youth about the opportunities and careers that trades can provide. Their goals are to get Canadian youth thinking about skilled trades and technology careers as being viable and interesting options, to get Canada’s youth to engage in projects and experiences involving skilled trades and technologies, fostering conversations between industry, teachers and students, and to engage with industry through leaders and political decision-makers, creating a dialogue focusing on the importance of encouraging uptake in the skills, trades and technologies careers to ensure that Canada remains at the forefront of competitive advantages in global economies.

This focus is all on employment, but I have to say that I come from a long line of skilled tradesmen. My grandfather was a boat builder and my father was a boat builder as well. They would be building fishing boats, but in their spare time they built hydroplanes. It wouldn’t be an odd sight on a Sunday to see in Goldboro the Silvers coming out and waterskiing in their suits behind their hydroplanes, and one of their boats — the Quicksilver, aptly named — was one of the fastest boats in Canada.

The reason I bring this up, Mr. Speaker, is that not only do skilled trades make for excellent career opportunities, but the camaraderie and the friendships that you make through your skills will last a lifetime.

Mr. Speaker, basically the opportunities and skills are endless. I would like to thank Skills Canada Yukon and also Yukon College for the work they do to promote skilled trades and deliver the necessary training for our economy to grow and to be successful.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.