Pre-Apprenticeship Training Institute event provides networking opportunities for fast-track trades career

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The Second Annual Trade Showcase Event, hosted by the Pre-Apprenticeship Training Institute (PAT) and sponsored by CLAC, took place Sept. 22 at the PAT Cambridge Campus.

The event provided a networking opportunity for students and employers and the opportunity for students and community members to learn about careers in trades through a vendor trade show and seminars. Attendees also had the chance to try their hand at IDEAL Skills Challenge competition tasks.

Glenda Rahn, PAT associate director career services and corporate development, says the event is also a chance for students to connect with agencies such as the YMCA and Service Ontario. “We want to educate students, not only about careers but about the career pathway. They need to learn to be proactive, to know about resources available to them, including the opportunity apprenticeships offer.”

pat 2 She says PAT’s fast-track education programs attract not only young people, but new Canadians and those seeking second careers.

The partnership with CLAC for this year’s event, she says, provided the chance to tie in a CLAC signatory member event which served the dual function of student/employer networking and allowing members a closer look at PAT and its programs. “Our fast-track programs are designed to mimic the job experience on a real job site and use small class sizes for more hands-on training. Our instructors are not only teaching skills but monitoring and coaching students in how to be employable, how to be leaders and problem solvers.”

On the networking side, Rahn says students got to practice those skills, asking questions of vendors and making connections.

Two special presentations were designed to be of interest to both employers and students. The first, presented by the YMCA was What Employers Want you to Know, followed by a workplace harassment session conducted by Grand River Occupational Health and Safety.

There was also the industry challenge presented by IDEAL Industries. “IDEAL is ramping up for its 2018 U.S. Competition. This was a chance to practice and for attendees to try their luck with an electrical and network cabling challenge.

Vendor participants offered door prizes as an extra bonus at the event, including one donation of a furnace and water heater.

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Rahn says the event was a success from both the vendor and student sides and the intent is to make this an ongoing opportunity.

PAT is a source of training for CLAC, Merit, Ontario Electrical League and Progressive Contractors Association.

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