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Youth Apprentice Building Toward a Bright Future

June 4, 2010

   Adam Tanner, 16, likes to build things out of

   wood; sometimes it’s functional and other

   times it’s simply for art.  Not only does Adam

   enjoy what he does, he's very good at it and

   now has the hardware to prove it.

   Adam recently won gold in carpentry at the

   Nova Scotia Provincial Skills Competition and

   as part of Team Nova Scotia, took home a

   bronze medal from the 2010 Canadian Skills

   Competition held in Waterloo, Ontario.

   “I had a great time at the competitions. At the

   provincial level we built a dog house.  Then at

   the national competition, we built a doll house

   based on residential code and construction

   methods,” said Adam, who hopes to one day

   gain all the skills necessary to build his own


Adam's interest in woodworking was planted at a young age, but when he learned of the many opportunities available to him now and into the future, he started to take a serious look at carpentry as a career.

“I picked up carpentry from my father and got a feel for it during shop class at school. Then when I saw the opportunities that were available for me in the trades, it got me really interested in the apprenticeship program.”

Adam, who starts grade 12 at South Colchester Academy in the fall, has been involved in the Options and Opportunities (O2) program at his school for the past two years. The O2 program offers students more hands-on career related learning experiences and is designed to prepare students for successful transitions from high school to work, a career path, or a post-secondary program. 

As a student in the O2 program, Adam learned about the Building Futures for Youth program; a summer program that last year alone provided over 40 high school students with exposure to the industrial construction industry, two weeks of safety and workplace readiness training, the opportunity to earn three high school co-operative education credits and the potential to receive apprenticeship credit. 

Adam made such a good impression on his employer from the program that he was soon hired as one of the company's part-time employees and eventually registered as a youth apprentice. 

“Being a [youth] apprentice lets you see what a trade is all about. Working with the other carpenters not only helped me hone my skills, it helped open doors for me and showed me where this trade can take me.”

For Adam, the future looks bright. He has his sights set on becoming a certified carpenter, working in the commercial side of the trade, and one day owning his own business. With the skills and knowledge he’s already compiled, Adam is well on his way. 


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