NNDSB Note: The following story was written by Emma Dupuis, an F.J. McElligott Secondary School student.
By Emma Dupuis
F.J. McElligott Secondary School recently participated in the Motive Power: Universal Skills Initiative. This project is designed to inspire young women to view apprenticeship as a viable pathway and to explore several skilled trades in the motive power sector including Automotive Service Technician and Truck & Coach Technician.
This virtual workshop was hosted by Canadore College and funded by School College Work Initiative (SCWI) and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP).
The event was broken into two parts. The first part of the day ran remotely by Randy Hall, a Canadore College motive power instructor, involved students working with callipers to measure engine components, measure spark plug gaps, and use tire pressure gauges.
“The day was very informative about the college. I enjoyed getting to measure the bore cylinder and not just watching a demonstration,” exclaimed Grade 11 student Bryn Davis.
When asked about why this day was important Mr. Hall said, “Many trades have been male-dominated and now changes in different trades, especially motive power, have opened up many more avenues that young women may find appealing.” He added, “Employers are also doing their part by making accessibility pathways easier for young ladies. It’s important to remember that it was the amazing female workforce during the First World War and Second World War that built all types of equipment, from tanks to planes to support our troops.”
The second part of the day involved a Zoom meeting in which students had the opportunity to attend a virtual tour of Canadore College hosted by either Ric Potvin or Darryl Oliver.
“I really enjoyed having the opportunity to get a virtual tour of the college. The best part was getting to look at engines and spark plugs,” said Brooke Dumont, a Grade 11 student.
Fellow student, Emilio Lavoie stated, “The presentation was really helpful in looking at different programs Canadore offers, how a typical course ran and what types of jobs we might want to pursue in the future. I thought it was very interesting how practical the course layouts are along with the variety of resources Canadore had to help everyone reach their full potential.” He added, “I enjoyed learning about the different types of engines as it helped me understand if mechanics was something I was passionate about.”
Each student received a “grab bag” organized by the Canadore College Recruitment Team containing a toque, tire pressure gauge, a spark plug gap measuring tool along with information about Canadore.
Students enjoyed the educational opportunity and learned potential pathways after secondary school. “It was cool to have a virtual tour of the Canadore campus and learn about the different apprenticeship programs the college has to offer. Overall, the entire presentation was really educational,” said Nicky Botham.
This event was an excellent way to engage students in the world of the trades and help them better understand the options available for their post-secondary careers.
“It was great that girls were given this experience,” exclaimed student Shannon Wall.