Fifteen Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) students recently put their talents to the test at the 2018 Provincial Skills Canada Competition (PSCC), with one of the teenagers bringing home a gold medal for his efforts.
Bev Facey Community High Grade 11 student Ryan Braat earned top spot in the welding category at the May 31 to Jun.1 event.
“It was a great experience for me to compete against other skilled welders across the province,” Braat said after his win. “It was my first year competing in Skills so I wasn’t expecting much which made winning gold even more exhilarating.”
Braat has been welding since he was 12-years-old, getting his start by helping his father build fire pits in their backyard. Braat and other first-place finishers from the province moved on to this week’s 2018 Skills National Competition as members of Team Alberta.
PSCC is Alberta’s largest trade and technology career show. Competitions at the two-day event had 500 students from across the province completing skills challenges in trades such as welding, cabinet making, carpentry, video production and hairstyling. Finished projects were judged by a panel of experts who held the students’ work to industry standards.
“Skills competitors need to have a great attitude, strong drive and incredible focus,” said Wade Martinson, a Bev Facey career and technology studies teacher. “Ryan has gone above and beyond, putting in countless evenings and weekends to prepare, and it’s definitely paid off. This has been a chance for him to go beyond abstract classroom concepts and take on real-world problems in his chosen field.”
Bev Facey, Lamont High and Vegreville Composite all sent students to the competition.
“The passion and skill on display by our students at the competition was astounding to say the least,” said Joseph Clark, the director of Learning Services at EIPS. “I think I speak for all of us from EIPS when I say we felt like proud parents. Our students demonstrated an incredible level of talent, knowledge and expertise.”
PSCC is hosted annually by Skills Canada and Skills Canada Alberta (SCA) with the goal of better equipping youth with trades and technical skills and knowledge.

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