Campus Life  

Trades, tech and triumph: OC hosts 2023 Skills Canada BC Regionals

A student welding at Okanagan College

Sparks flew, culinary creations delighted, and electronic expertise was on display as more than 100 competitors converged at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus for the 2023 SkillsBC Regional Trades and Technologies competition on Friday, Feb. 24.

Skills Canada Regionals tests the skills and knowledge of junior and high school students, college trades students and apprentices across a wide array of trades and technology competitions – Architectural CAD, Cabinetmaking, Culinary Arts, Electronics, Welding, Jr. Skills Gravity Vehicle, Jr. Skills Carpentry and more.

A full list of medalists can be found on OC’s Trades and Apprenticeship page.

This year saw the resurgence of the event after a pandemic imposed hiatus since March 2020 – and its return is timely, notes OC President Dr. Neil Fassina.

“In addition to providing incredible real-world learning opportunities, events such as these can help spark an interest among students in continued education and training,” says Fassina, who is also Chair of Trades Training BC. “We know from the recent labour market outlook that the province is going to need a significant number of skilled tradespeople and technologists over the next decade. We applaud these students for their tremendous skills, and we sincerely hope they’ll keep on learning and pursuing these in-demand careers.” 

According to the province’s Labour Market Outlook, released on Feb. 8, it is projected there will be over 83,000 job openings in B.C. for skilled trades occupations and another 118,000 in STEM (tech) occupations.

Medalists won’t have to wait long to showcase their skills again on the big state. The Skills Canada British Columbia “Provincials 2023” will be held at the Abbotsford Trade and Exhibition Centre on April 19.

“Skills Canada BC is about supporting and inspiring the next generation of skilled trades and technology leaders,” said Elaine Allan, Skills Canada BC Executive Director. “Competitions like these are just one of the many ways we bring that mission to life in communities across the province. On behalf of Skills Canada BC, congratulations to all of the Central Okanagan Regionals competitors – and to all the medalists, we look forward to seeing you at Provincials in April.”

The event is also made possible by the support of Okanagan College donors. KMS tools provided generous support in the form of an $800 tool donation for prizes.

"KMS Tools is proud to support and encourage future trades people through great hands-on learning experiences like this event at OC,” said Bruce Reiswig, Industrial Sales Rep for KMS. “Well done to all the competitors." 

View the event photo gallery on Flickr.

For more information, visit the Skills Canada BC website.

More Campus Life articles