One of the best ways to get more women interested in the trades is having the option available to them as soon as possible. When kids in middle school and high school are considering career options, they should be aware of at least a handful of the over 100 different skilled trades. Maybe they won’t choose the trades right away, but having the option available to them early in life at least lets the decision ruminate. Besides, what could be the downside of having the information and support for young girls as soon as possible?
One such support system is KickAss Careers. It is a program meant as a reference and resource for students, parents and educators. Mainly for students, it provides support for high school students interested in the trades.
KickAss Careers hosts a contest called MITC (Mechanical, Industrial, Technology, Construction). The contest is geared towards Grade 11 and 12 students who are seeking careers in Mechanical, Industrial, Technology, Construction, Science, Engineering, Math and Advanced Manufacturing. The contest takes place for twelve weeks where the students must design, build and product with the goal of selling it, all within a $1,000 quote for the materials, personal protective equipment, additional tools and any other miscellaneous funds needed to both build and sell the product. The teams involved in the contest are teams of four, with one team representing a school. 1-3 components of the product must be involved in Welding, Woodworking, Automotive, Manufacturing, Design Technology, Electrical, Machining, Robotics and Plumbing. The grand prize is $1,000 prepaid visa gift cards for their product, and the top three projects will be recognized at an Awards Dinner for the winning students and their parents. It gives students a chance to test out their skills in a real-world environment setting. They also have the opportunity to see if this is an industry that they want to pursue once they graduate.
The program is currently only in Ontario, but they are looking to expand nationally in Canada.
KickAss Careers is also a great example of providing kids with experience of a field they might pursue either directly after high school or later in life. Kids in high school sometimes have difficulty seeing the real-world applicability of the skills they learn in a classroom setting. By not only providing kids with examples but a chance to test their skills in a contest, KickAss Careers provides such an environment.
Kael Campbell is President and Lead Recruiter of Red Seal Recruiting Solutions, a company providing recruitment services in mining, equipment and plant maintenance, utilities, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. When he is not recruiting, Kael spends as much time as possible with family in the great outdoors and on the water. He volunteers his time as a Board Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization of Vancouver Island. You are invited to subscribe to our employer newsletter or submit your resume.