Skills/Compétences Canada Leads Youth Delegation to China for the 2012 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Youth Skills Camp

OTTAWA, Ontario — August 1, 2012 – Skills/Compétences Canada, a not-for-profit organization that actively promotes careers in skilled trades and technologies, today announced that it will be leading a delegation of youth, representing skilled trade and technology students and apprentices, to participate in the APEC Youth Skills Camp in China. The purpose of the event is to promote vocational skills training and generate awareness for the importance of skilled trades to economies around the world.

Canada is a founding member of APEC, and its team for the Youth Skills Camp was chosen to represent competitors and past champions from WorldSkills and Skills Canada National Competitions (SCNC), and includes:

  • Michael Christensen, Medallion of Excellence Winner in mechanical engineering design – CAD, WorldSkills London 2011
  • Haley Lonsdale, 5th place winner in the skills category of Restaurant Service, SCNC 2010
  • Hilary Pelerine, gold medal winner in hairstyling, SCNC 2011
  • Adrian Schut, Medallion of Excellence winner in mobile robotics, WorldSkills London 2011

The APEC Youth Skills Camp runs from August 9-19, 2012 with visits to Beijing, Nanjing, Wuxi, and Shanghai. The Canadian group will join 100 students from other APEC economies including the United States, Mexico, China, Russia and Japan. The Camp will include a Youth Forum, field visits to vocational colleges, enterprises and public training facilities, skills demonstration among participants and cultural tours.

“Today’s youth are tomorrow’s workforce, so by investing in them we are helping contribute to Canada’s long-term growth, competitiveness and overall prosperity,” said the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. “Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, our government is helping Canadian youth develop the skills and gain the experience they need to compete globally, now and in the future.”

“This conference is a great opportunity for some of Canada’s brightest skilled trade students and apprentices to network with their peers from other APEC economies. This will not only provide them with an invaluable experience, but they will gain insights into the role and importance of the skilled labour market on the global economy”, said Natalee Lewis, Project Manager, Skills/Compétences Canada.

Industries that depend on skilled trade workers are key drivers of the Canadian economy and contribute over 50% of Canada’s GDP – or over $550 billion according to Statistics Canada.

About APEC

APEC is the premier Asia-Pacific economic forum. Its primary goal is to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.  The 21 APEC Members work to build a dynamic Asia-Pacific community by championing free and open trade and investment, promoting and accelerating regional economic integration, encouraging economic and technical cooperation, enhancing human security, and facilitating a favorable and sustainable business environment.

 About Skills/Compétences Canada

Skills/Compétences Canada was founded in 1989 as a national, not-for-profit organization that works with employers, educators, labour groups and governments to promote skilled trades and technology careers among Canadian youth. Its unique position among private and public sector partners enables it to work toward securing Canada’s future skilled labour needs while helping young people and aspiring apprentices discover rewarding careers. Skills/Compétences Canada offers experiential learning opportunities including skilled trades and technology competitions for hundreds of thousands of young Canadians through regional, provincial/territorial, national and international events, as well as skilled trades awareness programs. Many programs highlight digital and essential skills, which are crucial qualifications in most careers of today.  Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Skills/Compétences Canada is the Canadian Member organization of WorldSkills International. For more information about Skills/Compétences Canada visit, or call 877-754-5226.

Note to Editors:

High-resolution photography and video is available upon request.

 Media Contacts:

Caroline McGrath

CMM Communications Group (for Skills/Competences Canada)