Pipeline construction is a complex industry where every piece of material and each gesture matter. TransCanada has worked with trade unions for decades to help develop skills training across the country and prepare the next generation of highly-skilled tradespeople that are critical to the safe development of pipeline projects such as Energy East.
Our company is proud to join forces with the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry (UA) as presenting sponsors at the 2015 Skills Canada. Skills Canada is an annual Olympic-style skills competition that kicked off in Winnipeg (Manitoba) on April 9 and Moose Jaw (Saskatchewan) on April 16, and will continue in Waterloo (Ontario) on May 4-6 and Edmonton (Alberta) on May 13 before concluding at the Nationals held this year in Saskatoon on May 27-30.
The event is the country’s only national, multi-trade and technology competition for young skilled trades and technology students and apprentices. It provides competitors with hands-on work experience and raises awareness on the value of and challenge in skilled trades and technology careers.
“Now more than ever, the push is on for industry and labour groups to be more proactive in raising awareness for job opportunities with a younger mindset,” says Shaun Thorson, Chief Executive Officer of Skills/Compétences Canada. “Many have discovered the value in engaging with associations and educational institutions to generate interest in the field, and gaining the inside track on finding the brightest and the best skilled tradespersons through skilled trade events.”
Every year, the event brings together over 550 young people from all regions of Canada to compete in over 40 trade and technology areas – ranging from carpentry and mobile robotics to pipe welding and aircraft maintenance – providing them with a unique opportunity to be tested against exacting standards and their peers across the nation. On May 30, students will be crowned the best in their chosen discipline.
Skills Canada is an important event that attracts young career-seekers, employers and industry associations. It helps showcase the many opportunities available for young Canadians in the skilled trades and technology sectors across the country, says John Soini, Vice-President, Pipeline & Facilities Projects, Energy East at TransCanada.
“As a fellow tradesman, I firmly believe events like this will help encourage the next generation of Canadians to become a part of the highly-skilled workforce being developed right here in Canada,” Soini says. “Projects such as the Energy East Pipeline rely upon the experience of thousands of tradesmen and women in the development of important energy infrastructure that will bring thousands of jobs to local communities across the country.”
TransCanada’s work depends on the experience of thousands of tradesmen and women to develop the energy infrastructure that millions of North Americans rely on each day to fuel their cars, heat their homes and power their businesses. Highly-skilled workers will be a key part of Energy East – the 4,500-km project that will transport 1.1-million barrels of oil per day from Western Canada to the oil refineries and port terminals of Eastern Canada.
Our company believes in taking a proactive approach to help address skilled labour shortage in Canada, and part of it means working with local trades unions. The Energy East team has been partnering with local trades unions across Canada for nearly two years to provide dozens of 40-foot sections of large-diametre steel pipes used for training in six provinces.
These donations help skilled journeymen acquire hands-on experience in various pipeline trades such as welding, coating, sandblasting, hoisting and cribbing, and ensure these workers are job-ready when the Energy East project moves forward.