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Youth apprenticeship scholarships provide a head start

Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship (SYA) scholarship winners enter the skilled trades with an incentive of $1,000 in addition to the benefits available to all SYA graduates.

Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship (SYA) scholarship winners enter the skilled trades with an incentive of $1,000 in addition to the benefits available to all SYA graduates.

In 2015, 100 high school graduates received a $1,000 scholarship in recognition of their completion of the SYA program, a commitment to plan for a career in one of the 49 designated trades and 20 subtrades, and financial requirements. In addition, all Saskatchewan graduates who completed the SYA program receive 100 trade time hours, and their registration fee and first level of technical training tuition are waived when they register as an apprentice with the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC).

In 2014-15, 507 students completed the SYA program.

“Amidst global economic uncertainty, Saskatchewan continues to have a shortage of skilled trade workers,” Immigration, Jobs, Skills and Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “The SYA program assists high school graduates to enter the skilled trades for long-term rewarding careers that are vital to keeping Saskatchewan strong.”

“The SYA program introduces students to careers in the skilled trades and allows them to explore the many options available to them,” Saskatchewan Apprenticeship Board Chair Garry Kot said. “In addition, the scholarships provide a financial recognition of the students’ accomplishments and commitment to a career in the skilled trades. Saskatchewan industry has been very supportive of the scholarship program as a means to encourage more youth to enter into the skilled trades.”

The scholarships were initiated in 2009-10 by industry partners and Saskatchewan Apprenticeship.

To date, 42 industry partners, including business owners and labour organizations, in addition to the Government of Saskatchewan through the SATCC and the Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Scholarship (SIOS), have contributed $1,182,000 to the scholarship fund.

Each school that participated in the SYA Program was asked to nominate at least one graduating student. To redeem the $1,000 scholarship, the graduate must complete high school and the SYA program, as well as successfully complete one level of apprenticeship or one year of post-secondary training in a designated skilled trade.

Graduates of programs including those conducted by the Regina and District Industry Education Council, the Saskatoon Industry Education Council, and the Saskatchewan Construction Association also received a scholarship. The SYA Program enables high school students to explore career opportunities in the skilled trades and obtain hands-on experience.

Currently, 300 schools are registered in the SYA Program, with more than 3,860 students participating.

Since the SYA Program’s inception in 2006-07, more than 16,000 students in Grades 10-12 have registered and more than 5,200 students have completed the program and received certificates. Of this total, 898 have registered as Saskatchewan apprentices. To date, 230 SYA participants have achieved journeyperson status.

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