Campus Life  

Speers to lead Trades and Apprenticeship at Okanagan College

Stephen Speers

Okanagan College will welcome a new Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship this spring with the arrival of Stephen Speers, who brings extensive experience as a post-secondary administrator and an impressive record of public service in Ontario.

Speers will start in the role on April 19. He comes to the College having most recently served as Chair of Workforce Development and Partnerships in the School of Trades and Apprenticeship at Conestoga College in southern Ontario.

For much of his 16-year career at Conestoga, Speers has been responsible for the development and delivery of the College’s Trades and Apprenticeship programs. He has also overseen administration of Conestoga’s Guelph Campus with oversight of the financial, human resource, and logistical operations of that 130,000 sq. ft. facility. For the past two years he has been contributing to the planning and development of a new Trades campus in the Brantford/Brant region.

“It’s challenging to put into words just how excited I am to be joining Okanagan College, with its strong reputation and nearly 60-year history of providing trades and apprenticeship training in the region,” said Speers.

“I’m looking forward to working with the great team of people in Trades, colleagues across our campuses and centres, and our industry partners. I’m honoured to play a role in sustaining and developing the programs that open doors for students and see them go on to become the highly skilled tradespeople we need in our society.”

Prior to joining Conestoga, Speers held positions in the Ontario Public Service. With the Ministry of Education, he worked as an Instructor, Counsellor, and Manager of residence programs. Moving to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities he held roles as an Apprenticeship Program Training Consultant and as an Area Office Manager. He also completed a two-year special assignment at Queen’s Park as a member of the Apprenticeship Support Application (ASA) project team.

Speers holds a Master of Education from OISE – University of Toronto and studied Social Development Studies and History at the University of Waterloo.

He has played an active role on numerous boards and committees in Ontario. Speers currently sits on the province’s Heads of Apprenticeship Training (HAT) committee as the Past Chair, and on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF). He also sits on two local community Boards, the Literacy Council, and Workforce Planning and Development.

Speers will replace Steve Moores, who retires this month after serving as Dean since 2013.

“We’re very pleased to welcome Stephen Speers as our new Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship,” says Dr. Andrew Hay, Provost and Vice President Academic at Okanagan College. “His depth and breadth of experience will no doubt be a benefit around our Leadership Team table, and support the ongoing enhancement of trades education and training at the College.”

“Stephen will continue the admirable work done by Steve Moores and the talented team of administrators and educators in Trades and Apprenticeship who each week find innovative ways to strengthen our industry partnerships, advance our programing and champion the importance and value of trades training.”

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