Skills Camp shows students career options in trades

The one-day event allowed students in grades 8 to 12 to try out interactive skilled trade activities.

'They're learning anything from pipe trades to bricklaying and car painting,' says spokesperson

The one-day event allowed students in grades 8 to 12 to try out interactive skilled trade activities. (CBC)

About 40 Halifax-area students between Grade 8 and Grade 12 got a taste of a career in a trade skill on Wednesday.

Skills Canada – Nova Scotia hosted a skills camp that allowed students to get some hands-on experience with industry professionals.

"They're learning anything from pipe trades to bricklaying and car painting, so there's a huge variety for them to try," said Shannon Campbell, marketing and communications manager for Skills Canada – Nova Scotia.

Shannon Campbell is the marketing and communications manager for Skills Nova Scotia. (CBC)

The event, held at the Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council's Trades Exhibition Hall in Halifax, had stations set up so students could explore different construction jobs.

Campbell said it's important for junior high and high school students to learn about jobs in the trades.

"A lot of students don't know what types of careers are out there," she said. "And until they get a chance to try them or see them and maybe get their hands a little bit dirty … they might find a career that they may not have considered before and did not know existed."

Campbell said there are "some really amazing job opportunities" in skilled trades and job vacancies in Nova Scotia. She said workshops like the one held Wednesday give students a chance to look into the training options.

Salia Hansen, a student going into Grade 10, said she is considering going into a skilled trade career. (CBC)

Salia Hansen, a student going into Grade 10, said after attending the workshop, she is considering going into a skilled trade career.

"I didn't think I was going to like it that much, but it turned out to be really fun," said Hansen.

Hansen, who said she doesn't think she would enjoy a desk job, said she enjoyed the paint workshop most.

"I never really knew a lot about this, but today I found out a lot more and how interesting it could be and how many people work in the industries," Hansen said.

Thomas Hooper is a student going into Grade 10. (CBC)

Thomas Hooper, also going into Grade 10, said he came to Skills Camp because he's part of a youth leadership program.

Hooper said he's a little on the fence about trades, but is interested in learning more. 

The highlight of his day, he said, was operating the mini crane.

"I think it's really cool that we get to try some of the skills that they offer, so we can test out what we want to do in our future," said Hooper.

Trent Soholt is executive director of the Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council. (CBC)

Trent Soholt, executive director of the Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council, said a lot of people who come to events like Skills Camp find themselves overwhelmed with all the career options.

"There's always a big aha moment for a lot of people who come to visit us where they learn about different things they never even thought about," Soholt said.

Soholt said the Trades Exhibition Hall will host an open house Sept. 22 that will be open to the public to learn about the industry. 

With files from Aya Al-Hakim