On Friday, November 4th, the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) held an evening to celebrate the winners of the 22nd Annual Apprenticeship Awards in Regina. These awards are designed to honour the contributions of apprenticeship and trade stakeholders, including apprentices, journeypersons, instructors, employers and training providers.
Throughout the evening, numerous awards were presented, which included Breanne Cooper, a teacher and Career Guidance Counselor at Martensville High School (MHS), who was one of four educators in the province to receive the Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship (SYA) Champion award.
“This award acknowledges the work that educators do in the province to encourage and support students as they complete the Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship while they are in high school,” Cooper explained.
The SYA is a program that high school students can participate in that is designed to help them discover more about working in the skilled-trades through hands-on experience. Through SYA, students gain a head-start on their apprenticeship and gain a better understanding of the steps towards their journeyperson certification.
Cooper, who has been working at MHS since 2011, was notified of winning this past June, and prior to that, wasn’t aware that the awards existed. “It was such a great experience and I am grateful that I had this opportunity. I had the chance to speak with some of the other SYA Champion Award winners and was able to network with people doing similar things in different settings and hear about their experiences in their schools. It was really nice to see people there supporting apprenticeship,” Cooper stated.
As a Career Guidance Counselor, Cooper believes that providing students with as much opportunity to experience the different options available to them throughout high school is important so they can be better prepared for life after high school. Through her position, Cooper helps students access the various programs/training available to them, such as boot camps where they can get hands-on experience in different trades, spotlight on careers, seminars, scholarships and bursaries, and many others.
“I believe it is important to encourage students to explore the things they are passionate about and help guide them through that process while also finding out the things they for sure don’t want to do. There are so many amazing opportunities available, so kids can really find out what they might, or might not be interested in before they pay a whole bunch of money to go to school for something they don’t want to do.”