Six Red Deer College apprenticeship students and alumni are competing at the 25th Skills Canada National Competition in Halifax, N.S., on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Three of the competitors are winners from the recent Skills Canada Alberta Provincial Competition, held on May 8 and 9, including three gold winners: Clay Flack, RDC sprinkler system installer alumnus, Dayton Playford, RDC welder alumnus, and Sam Rufenacht, fourth-year heavy equipment technician apprentice.
The three students will test their skills against apprentices from across the country at the national event. They will complete three projects over two days, and will be judged by industry experts who assess the competitors’ practical skills, trouble-shooting abilities and technical knowledge.
The remaining three competitors from RDC are moving on from last year’s national competition and vying for spots on Team Canada, looking for a chance to represent our nation at WorldSkills 2019 in Kazan, Russia.
They are Eric Koster, RDC electrician alumnus, who earned gold in electrical installations at the 2018 Skills Canada National Competition; Justin Meldrum, RDC welder alumnus, who earned gold in welding at the 2018 Skills Canada National Competition; and Taylor McCallum, RDC plumber alumnus, who was named one of the top two age-eligible (22 and under) competitors in plumbing at 2018 Skills Canada National Competition.
Since WorldSkills events are held every two years, 2018 was a qualifying year for the upcoming competition in Russia. The top two age-eligible candidates from 2018 in each skill area will compete head-to-head to determine who will represent Canada at WorldSkills Kazan in August.
Koster, Meldrum and McCallum, who have spent the past 11 months training and honing their skills, will compete in a Team Canada selection event from May 27 to 29, which coincides with the Skills Canada National Competition.