Six students from Assiniboine― Nik Ross, Loai Al-Wahabi, Kathryn Nichol, Wade Robbins, Ryanne Gareau and Chris Obsniuk―will move on to compete at Skills Canada in Québec City in May 2024 after winning gold in their respective categories at this week’s 26th annual Skills Manitoba competition.

“Skills Manitoba provides students with an opportunity to apply classroom knowledge into practical scenarios,” said Kevin Poirier, Dean of Trades and Team Assiniboine lead. “We look forward to this event every year—it brings a me great sense of pride to see our students experience this environment. It’s wonderful to see the number of students attending the competition, medaling, and going on to represent our college on a national level grow year after year. We wish our gold medalists luck in Québec City—Team Assiniboine is cheering you on.”

Twenty-one Assiniboine students competed in twelve competitions at Skills Manitoba. Among these participants, 16 earned gold, silver or bronze medals in their respective competitions.

“My goal for the competition was to gain experience within the realm of graphic design,” said Graphic Design gold medalist Ryanne Gareau. “The work itself was quite familiar due to having similar projects in the Digital Art and Design program, which made my time in the competition quite enjoyable. The skills that I learned in my courses are truly what prepared me for the competition. I am very grateful that I was able to attend the competition and had an incredible experience.

The philosophy behind the competition is to reward students, involve industry and to keep training relevant to employers’ needs. Competitions are designed and judged by industry professionals and educators.

“The competition was pretty stressful to say the least, as it’s a lot of work to accomplish in only 5 hours,” said Wade Robbins, a first year Civil Technician student and gold medalist in Architectural Technology & Design. “Each competition is unique, which makes think on your toes just like you would in the workplace.”

Throughout the province, 475 high school, post-secondary and apprenticeship students competed in 42 skilled trades and technology contests at this year’s Skills Manitoba event and the gold medal winners will form Team Manitoba to compete against their peers at the Skills Canada Competition to be held in Québec City in May 2024.

The Skills Competitions also raise awareness about Canada's shortage of skilled trades workers—major industry associations expect a moderate to severe shortage of workers within the next five yearsThey also help raise awareness among students, educators and parents about the advantages of post-secondary training in trades and technology, including good pay, job security and flexibility.

For the complete list of ACC's medal winners at the Skills Manitoba Competition visit their website HERE!

For the complete list of medal winners from across the province click HERE!

Please listen to Kevin Poirier and CJRB's Betty Sawatzky below as he shares on this achievement of ACC students and staff to be award members and now representatives for Manitoba at the national competition coming up in May!