Campus Life  

OC students win medals at Skills Provincials competition

Skills Provincials

When it comes to Skills Canada competitions, Okanagan College (OC) students have proven they are among the best in the province, with several moving on to challenge the best in Canada. 

Seven OC students won medals at the Skills Canada Provincials held April 17 in Abbotsford, a local high school student also medaled, and four students have advanced to the Skills Nationals in Quebec. 

Olivia Tinling (IT Office Software), Hunter Campbell (Refrigeration) and Joel Galbraith (IT Network Systems Administration), won gold medals while Mark Holowachuk (Sheet Metal) won silver and Zachary Lwowski (Heavy Duty Mechanics), Ethan Seymour (welding) and Aaron Cumming (Automotive) won bronze medals. Tinling, Campbell, Galbraith, and Holowachuk have earned the chance to compete at the Skills Nationals held in Quebec City in May 2024.  

Mount Boucherie student Jakub Polak (Carpentry), mentored and supported by OC, won a bronze medal.

“The competition was a great experience,” said OC student Hunter Campbell, who is in the second year of his Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic Apprenticeship at the Penticton campus. “There are a lot of minor but critical details that go into refrigeration. My instructors had been getting me ready and prepared and sacrificed a lot of their own time. I am grateful to have the opportunity and the mentorship from our instructors who are very knowledgeable about the industry.”

Sills Canada competitions test the skills and knowledge of junior and high school students, college students and apprentices across a wide array of trades and technology competitions. Okanagan College hosted the Central Okanagan Skills Canada Regional competition in February.

“We’re extremely proud of our students who represented OC across several different competitions and performed very well,” said Danny Marques, Acting Dean of OC Trades and Apprenticeship. “With the demand for skilled workers, these competitions are a great way to raise the profile of and really celebrate the skills that are so critical to today’s workforce. We are proud to be a regional host site as we work to continue to introduce students to fulfilling, profitable careers.” 

For Hunter Campbell, who’s working in the industry as part of his apprenticeship, he’s looking forward to a solid and well paid career in the refrigeration industry. 

“I’ll be finishing my apprenticeship with Inland Comfort in Kelowna,” he said. “After I’m certified it will be onto more complex jobs and more responsibilities.”

In February, Okanagan College hosted nearly 200 school students at the Central Okanagan Skills Canada Regional competition, hosting skills events in Architectural CAD, Cabinetmaking, Culinary Arts, Electronics, Welding, Jr. Skills Gravity Vehicle, and Jr. Skills Carpentry, as well as Spaghetti Bridge Building.

OC is also hosting two prominent events this spring, to highlight careers in the Trades and encourage students to learn more. This Thursday, Apr. 25, OC and the Canadian Home Builders' Association - Central Okanagan are hosting a Try a trade eventt for parents and students to explore various career paths in the residential construction industry. 

On May 15, OC is debuting the popular Jill of All Trades day at the College, which will welcome 120 young women along with mentors and volunteers to the College’s Kelowna campus, where they will explore different Trades and Apprenticeship programs.

For more information on Okanagan College programs: [email protected]

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