Variety of careers on display at St. Patrick and Sir John Franklin high schools

 

Grade nine student Michael Pederson checks out the Paul Bros NEXTreme booth and speaks with Trinity Noyce. Emelie Peacock/NNSL Photo

On Tuesday, middle and high school students across the city got a taste of what their future might hold at a career expo organized by Skills Canada Northwest Territories.

Businesses, non-profits, universities and the government competed for the attention of students who attended the expo. While the Territorial Skills Competition was the main draw of the day, exhibitors pulled out the stops to attract students, including one booth with an almost four-billion-year-old rock.

At the NWT Geological Survey booth, summer student Jared Tordoff showed off a big chunk of the world’s oldest rock, which was discovered in the territory. When he was in high school not so long ago, Tordoff said events like this helped him decide on a career in science.

“It’s important to give kids an idea, or many ideas, so they can … have a rough idea of what they might want to study,” he said.

At a booth for Edmonton-based MacEwan University, Jarrett Crapeau picked up brochures and chatted with a student adviser.

The Grade 12 St. Patrick High School student said he had been thinking of going to university at MacEwan since last summer.

Grade 12 student Jarrett Crapeau speaks with Keestin O’Dell, MacEwan University advisor at Tuesday’s career expo. Emelie Peacock/NNSL Photo

He still hadn’t decided on what exactly he’s going to study there, but said he was at the expo to get ahead and “get a better future.”

Booth adviser Keestin O’Dell said for students who want to attend university, thinking about prerequisites and special requirements for programs like fine arts or social work have to start before Grade 12.

Allison Kincaid, executive director of Skills Canada NWT, wants the more than 400 students who attended the expo to get an idea of what the future could hold for them.

In particular, she stressed the opportunities available in trades, something she said students are sometimes steered away from either because of the negative connotations the trades have as just “blue collar” or because of competition with technology and knowledge-based jobs.

“You can become a multi-millionaire in this world. You can start your own business and grow it if you want or you can be just a mom-and-pop shop doing your own thing,” Kincaid said. “Those opportunities are there.”