Boom times in Saskatchewan are leading to some innovative partnerships.
On Monday, the Yorkton Regional High School signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sasktel to deliver electronics and information technology training with special focus on real world skills development.
Leanne Woodhouse, director-customer services for Yorkton, Weyburn and Estevan, made no bones about the recruiting aspect of the partnership in a competitive employment environment.
“We’re always looking for new young people to join our organization, particularly in rural and district locations this helps us develop that candidate pool to do that,” she said. “As well, we can talk about the different career options at Sasktel these students wouldn’t know about or have exposure to without partnerships like this.”
YRHS is the fourth high school, and first outside Regina and Saskatoon, to work with Sasktel on the initiative.
Graduates of the program will also have an opportunity to get work experience.
“Right now we have two summer student internship positions available for students of this program for this summer and we’ll continue to build on that specifically for the Yorkton Regional High School.”
Mike Haczkewicz, YRHS principal said the shift to hands-on, real-world learning at the high school level is a boon to certain students.
“I think that’s a really neat venture that we’re getting into with Sasktel, and I’m hoping this opens the door to other partnerships in the future,” he said. “Obviously they want the commodity that we’re putting out at the end of each June, those Grade 12 students. Not everyone is suited for the SIASTs and the university world, some are ready to join the trades and some are ready to join the work world so this is perfect.”
Electronics students are excited as well. Ireland Hurry spoke for the class at a press conference May 26.
“These past few weeks we’ve really been getting in depth about what we plan to do when we graduate; it gets you thinking,” he said adding he believes the program will improve graduates prospects.
“We all enjoy it, so when you apply things that you like to your life, it goes well.”