When academic award time rolls around at the end of a school year, students bound for post-secondary often see their labours rewarded with scholarships, awards and bursaries. A key set of awards recognizes the efforts of youth who are geared toward trades and apprenticeship.  

Each year the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) has awarded Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship (SYA) Industry Scholarships to deserving students. This year, the SATCC has handed out awards to 110 graduating students from 77 Saskatchewan Communities.  

Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison commented on the youth honoured. 

"Congratulations to this year's scholarship recipients who are on their way to long, successful, rewarding careers in our province. Providing opportunities for young people to enter the workforce, particularly in the skilled trades, is a key component of the Saskatchewan Labour Market Strategy and essential to the growth of Saskatchewan's strong economy. Through continued investments into training and apprenticeship programs, our government is committed to ensuring more young people will pursue careers in the skilled trades in communities throughout Saskatchewan." 

There are many SYA champions - educators and consultants who oversee the program in schools – who foster the students' entry into trades. They nominate worthy student participants in the program for selection. One of those is Brent Loehr, who works with ten schools in the Horizon School Division.  

I think the SYA Industry Scholarship is important because it brings awareness to the program itself, but it also allows these students to benefit from another $1000 that they can use in a couple years after they finish SYA,” Loehr explained. “It’s that extra cherry on the top for those that have worked hard to finish SYA and then are recognized by their schools.  

One of the recipients is Nathan Carroll of Muenster School. Nathan is set to head into training as a heavy equipment technician through the Saskatchewan Polytechnic program in Saskatoon. He reflects on his receipt of the award.  

“I’ve been thinking about going into it (heavy duty mechanics) for a while now. The award is pretty awesome. It shows that I worked hard, and it’s a goal reached.“ 

To complete SYA, students work through 12 challenges - everything from interviewing a journeyperson to researching and writing a report on a designated trade to outlining the steps to journeyperson certification. All students who complete SYA and register as apprentices in Saskatchewan within five years receive significant benefits: 300 trade hours, plus the waiver of their apprenticeship registration fee and Level 1 technical training tuition.  

"It is important we promote careers in the skilled trades as first-choice careers," Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission CEO Jeff Ritter said. "The SYA program gives all participants who enter the apprenticeship system within five years tangible, valuable benefits and the SYA Industry Scholarship is one more incentive to help attract graduates into the skilled trades."  

The SYA Industry Scholarship program launched 15 years ago in 2009. Since then, more than 1,300 scholarships have been issued. Sixty industry sponsors, including employers, industry associations and unions, as well as the Government of Saskatchewan, have invested $1.2 million total into the SYA Industry Scholarship fund. 

There are currently more than 3,200 students registered in the SYA program across the province.   

For more information on the SYA program, please visit: saskapprenticeship.ca/sask-youth-apprenticeship.   

Horizon Division students who received SYA Industry Scholarships in 2023-2024 are: 

  • Paige Shaw – Bruno 

  • Logan Stockbrugger – Englefeld 

  • Emmanuel King - HCI 

  • Mason Waldbillig – HCI 

  • Warren Mooney – Imperial 

  • Shaylee Duda – Ituna 

  • Kacen Hyra – Lanigan 

  • Nathan Carroll – Muenster 

  • Kale Linford – Raymore 

  • Oliver Muir – Rose Valley