Gabriel Dumont Institue


Strong Foundations: DTI’s Scaffolding Pre-Employment Program

May 10, 2015

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In education, scaffolding refers to a variety of instructional techniques used to move students progressively toward stronger understanding and, ultimately, greater independence in the learning process. Like physical scaffolding, the supportive strategies put in place by staff are incrementally removed when they are no longer needed, and the instructor gradually shifts the responsibility over the learning process to the student.


It has long been a philosophy of the learning process that a strong foundation allows for strong academic achievement, and that in order to build capacity in students; helping them to elevate their academic and workplace skills, one needs to have a solid foundation on which to build these skills. With the current Dumont Technical Institute Scaffolding Pre-Employment program, this could not be more true. For this program however, it is the students that are learning to build a foundation for others; elevating colleagues, providing a platform for success and safety, and ensuring that those around them are free to work safely, supported, and grounded by a secure foundation.


Commencing March 16, 2015 and completing May 8, 2015, the DTI eight-week Scaffolding Pre-Employment program was funded through the Aboriginal Apprenticeship Initiative (Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission) with the support of GDIT&E and the Prairie Arctic Trades Training Centre. This program aims to prepare for work individuals interested in a career in the trades, through a theory and hands-on approach to learning. Students were provided with the foundational skills necessary for entry into the trades, with a specialty in the field of scaffolding. Alongside their training, students are taking part in community-based work programs, erecting scaffolding on actual jobsites within Saskatoon.


Many people do not realize that scaffolding is a trade; a very in demand trade. With safety being paramount at every jobsite in Saskatchewan, gone are the days of rigging up a couple of ladders, throwing a 2 x 12 board in-between, and hoping for the best. Students are taught to consider every avenue possible in making safe jobsite decisions, being aware of their surroundings, and always remembering that what they are doing is preventing hazards and eliminating dangers for all workers. What makes this program unique is the versatility required by students in the design of their scaffolding systems. Students are required to think three dimensionally as they work, putting together a massive jigsaw puzzle unique to every jobsite and situation.


Working at height, on the outside and inside of structures, is just a part of the job that DTI’s Scaffolding students are now embarking on. The next time you are walking near a construction site and see some scaffolding on the outside, take a moment to think of our students. Much like GDI creates an avenue for success in learners and clients, so do our students in providing a safety net, a secure foundation, and an avenue for success for all others that come after them.

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Gabriel Dumont Institue

GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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