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Skilled trades get an ambassador

Spider Jones, sports broadcaster and former amateur boxing champion, will be the Ontario government's first ambassador to promote the skilled trades to high school students, Dianne Cunningham, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, announced recently.
Sports broadcaster and former boxing champion Spider Jones is the province's first ambassador for the skilled trades.

"Spider Jones is a successful athlete and public speaker who will inspire students to think about their goals, and the education and training they need to achieve them," Cunningham said. "He will encourage students to consider careers in skilled trades and help recruit the next generation of skilled workers Ontario needs to compete in the global marketplace."

As an ambassador for the skilled trades, Spider Jones will visit schools across Ontario and encourage students to make good choices for the future.

He will also promote Ontario government programs that help young people start a career in the skilled trades, including the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, co-operative education placements and Ontario Summer Jobs.

"Young people need opportunities to develop confidence in themselves and their skills," Spider Jones said. "They also need to learn about the wide range of opportunities available if they take the time to plan their training and education, and put their heart and energy into achieving their goals.

"My message to students is that the more education and training you have, the more opportunities you have to succeed, and apprenticeship training provides an excellent opportunity for a great career."

"Skilled trades provide good careers and exciting work that challenge individual creativity and intellect," Cunningham added. "A career in the trades can also lead to further education, at a college or university, and often skilled tradespeople open their own businesses."

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Cambrian College president Sylvia Barnard and Algoma University College president Dr. Celia Ross recently signed an agreement that will enhance and encourage educational mobility between a number of Cambrian's diploma programs and a number of Algoma's degree programs.

The advanced standing agreement formally recognizes credits from a number of Cambrian's programs and provides an opportunity for graduates of these programs to obtain a bachelor of arts, a bachelor of science, a bachelor of computer science or a bachelor of business administration degree at Algoma University College.

The agreement encompasses designated programs within Cambrian's Schools of Business, Media and Creative Arts, Computer and Engineering Technology, and Justice and Community Services; for example, business administration, advertising, graphic design, computer systems technology, police foundations and social service worker.

Graduates of Cambrian's two- and three-year diploma programs with a grade point average of 3.2 or higher will be granted from 42 to 60 university credits toward a three-year or four-year degree at Algoma.

Through this agreement, the two post-secondary institutions are providing a mechanism for students to expand their knowledge and expertise, and to further their employment opportunities by marrying the applied elements of a college education with the theoretical base of a university degree.

The agreement is one of many that Cambrian has signed with universities over the last 10 years in an effort to provide seamless education and to encourage continuous learning.


Students with disabilities and their families can learn more about the wide variety of specialized services available to them through Georgian College at a free seminar May 30 in Barrie.

The event, part of National Access Awareness Week, takes place at 9 a.m. in the Southshore Community Centre on Lakeshore Drive.

The panel discussion is followed by an opportunity for visitors to informally browse through information booths.

Participants can learn about such services as psycho-educational assessments, counselling and learning strategies, computers and technology and career planning and employment support.

Free refreshments will also be available.

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