Skills Ontario: Technology helping to overcome barriers that prevent young people from learning about careers in the skilled trades

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Ashley Pszeniczny, diversity and inclusion manager at Skills Ontario, says she sees a silver lining to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While the health crisis has undoubtedly disrupted the way we live and work, the move to greater remote learning and increased use of digital technology has helped the organization connect with young people it may have missed in the past.

Skills Ontario, which strives to build Ontario’s skilled trades and technologies workforce, has adapted its outreach approach during the pandemic, replacing in-person competitions and conferences with a steady supply of virtual events, online webinars and social media challenges, the organization said in a statement last Thursday.

“The shift has helped students and young people across the province participate in events they might otherwise have difficulty attending because of the cost and logistics of travel,” Skills Ontario says.

In her newly created position heading up diversity inclusion programs at Skills Ontario, Pszeniczny said she’s grateful technology is helping to overcome barriers that prevent young people from learning about rewarding careers in the skilled trades and technologies.

A member of the Garden River First Nation near Sault Ste. Marie and a certified teacher, Pszeniczny has spent the past eight years working in Skills Ontario’s First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) Initiatives program, most recently as its manager.

Pszeniczny’s new position will enable her to foster more diversity and inclusion throughout Skills Ontario, as well as promoting more underrepresented people to explore careers in the skilled trades and technology fields, the organization says.


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