Red Deer Polytechnic’s Apprentices have been recognized by Skills Canada Alberta and Skills Canada for their industry-leading competencies among a deep field of provincial and national post-secondary Apprentices. 

The Polytechnic’s Apprentices earned 10 medals at both post-secondary competitions. 

In early May, Red Deer Polytechnic’s Apprentices participated in the Skills Canada Alberta Competition, impressively earning eight medals, including three gold. More than 130 post-secondary Apprentices in Alberta competed for medals in 24 trades. 

“We are very proud of our Apprentices who represented Red Deer Polytechnic at a very high level on the provincial and national stages,” says Jim Brinkhurst, Interim President. “Their outstanding accomplishments reflect the quality programming taught by dedicated and talented instructors at the Polytechnic. It also affirms that Red Deer Polytechnic’s trades Apprenticeship programs rank at, or near, the top of all Apprenticeship programs in Alberta and Canada.” 

Skills Canada Alberta, which is part of the national association, Skills Canada, is a non-profit organization that promotes careers in skilled trades and technologies to meet industry and education demands. 

At the Skills Canada Alberta Competition in Edmonton, Red Deer Polytechnic’s Apprentices achieved the following results: 

  • Carpentry - Andrew Jacob (silver), Hunter Baldwin (bronze) 
  • Electrical Installations - Tristen Hatto (gold) 
  • Sprinkler & Fire Protection Systems - Jake Ewashen (gold), Brendan Hermary (silver), Wyatt 

Richardson (bronze) 

  • Welding - Dayton Playford (gold), Ben Rainforth (bronze) 

The Polytechnic’s gold medallists from Skills Canada Alberta were named to Team Alberta, advancing to the Skills Canada National Competition in Vancouver from May 25 to 27. At the national event, more than 500 post-secondary Apprentices competed across 38 trades. 

Two of Red Deer Polytechnic’s Apprentices rose to the top of the nation in their trade: 

  • Welding – Dayton Playford (gold) 
  • Electrical Installations –Tristen Hatto (gold) 
winnersTristen Hatto (gold in Electrical Installations) centre. 

Joel Gingrich, Dean of School of Education and Trades, believes the partnerships between Red Deer Polytechnic and central Alberta industry were instrumental in the success that each of the Apprentices achieved. 

“These medals are evidence of the national level of learning experiences available at the Polytechnic, along with complementary experiences provided by our region’s employers who support Apprentices in their development,” he says. “I am extremely grateful for these collaborations, which help our Apprentices to become leaders in their fields and careers.” 

Along with the competencies of these Apprentices, the Polytechnic’s faculty and staff helped to contribute to the training, education and preparation for the provincial and national competitions. 

“It takes an entire team at Red Deer Polytechnic for these Apprentices to succeed – instructors who serve as coaches for the competitors, and additional instructors who provide class coverage, or who help in identifying top prospects for competition,” says Gingrich. “Our technicians ensure equipment is operational and materials are available for competitors to practice. Administrators help to juggle schedules and to gather resources to support our Apprentice competitors.” 

With gold medals from the Skills Canada National Competition, Playford and Hatto qualified for the World Skills International Competition, which was originally scheduled for Shanghai in October 2022. That global competition in Shanghai has recently been cancelled, but alternatives are being explored for another location in the fall. 

“By the end of June, the venue and date for Dayton and Tristen’s world competitions should be released,” says Lee Yasinski, Welding Instructor and Skills Coach. “Moving forward, both competitors will be practicing and refining the skills required to display excellence and capture a world medal. Often this is compared to, or referenced as, the Olympics in trades.”