Feb 2, 2017
By James Oloo and Dwayne Docken
Colette Schroell has been a client in the Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI) Aboriginal Apprenticeship Project. She received her Journeyperson certification in Food and Beverage Person on November 23, 2016. This month, we sat down with her to discuss her experience.
In Saskatchewan and across Canada, apprenticeship programs combine on-the-job training, usually under supervision and mentorship of a journeyperson-certified professional in the same trade, and technical (classroom) learning that leads to a trade credential – or “ticket.” After the apprentice completes technical training, on-the-job hours, and a final exam, s/he is awarded a journeyperson certification as a confirmation of his/her skill level and competence, and recognition by colleagues, government, and the public that the recipient is a skilled professional in a particular trade.
Colette had been working at the Delta Bessborough Saskatoon for over a decade when she came to GDI to seek advice on how to earn her Journeyperson certification. So accomplished was she in her career that Colette was honoured at the 22nd Annual Tourism Professional Recognition Dinner in Saskatoon in June 2015 with a certification in Banquet Server. In her message to the certification honourees, Tourism Saskatchewan CEO Mary Taylor-Ash noted that the “celebrations acknowledge individuals who have achieved Professional Certification in a tourism occupation” and that “tremendous dedication is required to complete the demanding program requirements.”
But, Colette was not satisfied. She aspired for more training: “I wanted to get my Journeyperson because this would give me more opportunities and open more doors for me in the industry.” That is how she found her way to GDI Training and Employment.
The path to journeyperson certification was both enjoyable and challenging. It involved hands-on work and taking in-class and online classes.
Despite the challenges, Colette says she had made up her mind, “I was not going to be a quitter. I had set a goal for myself and I was going to successfully complete the program.” She adds, “It feels good. I am happy that I stuck with it.” Colette noted that with “financial and moral support from Dwayne and GDI, getting my journeyperson certification became a reality.”
Dwayne Docken is the Employment Counselor at GDI Training and Employment who worked closely with Colette.
Colette remembers how “Dwayne let me know that he was there if I had any question. He was good, thorough, and very professional.” Colette also stated that she enjoys her work at the Delta Bessborough and is grateful for her colleagues who have been very supportive and encouraging.
Colette advises others who wish to pursue careers in trades to make sure they know that they want, the goals they want to attain, and seek help when they need it. As she puts it, “Don’t stress yourself, pace yourself.”
If you’ve been thinking about a career in the trades, GDI Aboriginal Apprenticeship Project can help you achieve your goals. Please contact Chelsie Scragg, Administrative Coordinator –Apprenticeship, at firstname.lastname@example.org.