Students exploring skilled trades through the Gold Collar Program

On May 4, Lady Mackenzie Public School welcomed Gold Collar Program educators, Mary McKnight, Dave King, and Phil Therien, from Fenelon Falls Secondary School (FFSS). Together, the team developed activities and a presentation to teach and inform Grade 8 students about secondary programs, such as Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM), Dual Credits, Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), and Co-operative Education. 

“We use our personal stories and experiences, paired with the various activities, to engage the students and interest them in a trades career,” said FFSS technology teacher, Dave King.

Stations were set up around the room with instructions to various tasks that represent the skilled trades students could consider for future careers, such as automotive service, cabinetry, carpentry, chef, child development practitioner, drafting and design, electrician, hairstyling, heavy equipment operator, horticulture, plumbing, and small engine technician. Students were placed into pairs, with one student as the journeyperson, giving instructions to the other student acting as the apprentice. 

One student spoke of his experience on this day and shared that it was helpful to learn and explore the tasks each workstation provided, especially when getting ready to consider a future career in the skilled trades.

The Gold Collar Program is an initiative under the SHSM Innovation and Expansion Fund. FFSS provided the experience as a pilot project for the 2021-2022 school year to their feeder schools, educating students about skilled trades. 

See the Gold Collar Program video for more highlights from the program.

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