Advanced Education Minister Rob Norris will join Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and a group of provincial government representatives, as well as leaders from Canada’s business, labour, and educational community on a six-day trip to Germany and the United Kingdom to study innovations in apprenticeship and skills training systems.
The first priority of the trip is to study Germany’s unique educational training system which combines classroom education with practical work experience so that students finish school with the skills required to directly enter the labour market. The result of this dual apprenticeship system is a low youth unemployment rate of 7.8 per cent.
The delegation will continue on to London to study recent changes to their apprenticeship system with Doug Richard, an American entrepreneur and founder of School for Startups who reviewed the British system and made recommendations to better address the changing needs of their labour market.
“I am honoured to be invited on this innovative Canadian mission to learn directly about leading European skills training systems,” Norris said. “Given Saskatchewan’s robust labour market and our government’s ongoing commitment to our students, including our First Nations and Métis learners, we welcome fresh perspectives on ways to better connect learning to earning. Joining this mission reflects the importance of working in partnership with our federal government, industry leaders and our post-secondary institutions.”
“Saskatchewan has a shortage of certain skilled trades workers and we look forward to seeing how the German and British models work,” Saskatchewan Building Trades Business Manager Terry Parker said. “Hopefully we can learn from their successful apprenticeship and job training systems and then apply them at home to help address our challenging labour market, particularly in the construction industry.”
“SIAST’s consistently high graduate employment rates speak to the success of the applied learning approach in Saskatchewan,” SIAST president and CEO Dr. Larry Rosia said. “During the upcoming tour, I’ll be on the lookout for best practices that we can adopt as we respond to significant increases in demand to support economic growth in the province.”