Government of Yukon

June 9, 2016

Watson Lake students complete trades exploration pilot

Joint news release

WATSON LAKE—Seven Watson Lake Secondary School students and one adult learner have completed the Watson Lake Skills Exploration Program.

“I would like to congratulate these eight students from the first Skills Exploration pilot program in Watson Lake,” Minister of Education Doug Graham said. “I would also like to thank Yukon College, the instructors and staff at the school and the Department of Education for offering these students the opportunity to try different trades and explore future career paths in skilled trades.”

A graduation ceremony will be held at Yukon College’s Watson Lake Campus attended by students, their families, Watson Lake Secondary School principal Jean MacLean, Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining executive director Shelagh Rowles and Speaker of the Yukon Legislative Assembly Patti McLeod. Following graduation, students can apply to continue on to the college’s 18 to 20 week pre-apprentice trades programs in the specialization they have chosen.

“The trades pilot was an empowering experience for students from a rural community,” said Watson Lake Skills Exploration Program graduate Lilian Brunet. “It was a door-opening educational experience.”

The Skills Exploration pilot initiative was a partnership between Yukon College, Watson Lake Secondary School and the Government of Yukon. The 20 week program provided students with hands-on experience in carpentry, plumbing, electrical, small engine repair and heavy duty mechanic trades. Students were introduced to the basics of each trade across two-week cycles and also earned credentials in basic workplace safety, such as Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, fall protection, transportation of dangerous goods and rigging and hoisting.

“The Skills Exploration pilot program provides an ideal opportunity for students to explore a variety of the trades before embarking on their chosen career path,” Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining executive director Shelagh Rowles said.

The Watson Lake Skills Exploration Program ran from February 1 to June 10 in Watson Lake. Training took place at the Yukon College Watson Lake Campus, Watson Lake Secondary School and a Yukon College mobile trades training trailer.



Dan Macdonald
Cabinet Communications

Kyle Nightingale
Communications, Education

Michael Vernon
Communications, Yukon College


News Release #16-228