Mar 8, 2018
By Chelsie Scragg and James Oloo
Kalin Mahar is 23 year old second year apprentice carpenter. Kalin had completed high school when he started doing landscaping work. Eventually he decided that landscaping was not the career he wanted to pursue. Shawn Mahar, then the Apprenticeship Manager at Gabriel Dumont Institute referred him to the apprenticeship open house at the Institute. Kalin says that the conversation with Shawn was a turning point in his career.
“I had previously thought of being a carpenter. When I visited Gabriel Dumont Institute, Sheena got me all set up, and after an interview, I was offered a placement with an employer. It has been two years and I am going strong. I have a trade, tickets, and moving up the staircase.” Sheena Yew, as an Employment Counselor at the Gabriel Dumont Institute Training and Employment, has been working closely with Kalin since then.
Kalin works for a small company in Saskatoon. He has had steady employment while learning under supervision and mentorship of a certified journeyperson for over two years as a result of the Gabriel Dumont Institute Indigenous Apprenticeship Program. According to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), or companies with fewer than 500 employees, employ more than 90 percent of the country’s private sector workforce. Feedback from the Gabriel Dumont Institute Training and Employment’s SMEs partners in the apprenticeship program have consistently indicated that Saskatchewan’s small businesses continue to benefit from the partnership, for example, in the form on wage subsidies. That benefit, according to Kalin, is experienced by apprentices as well.
As Kalin puts it, “Working with a small company keeps you on the spot, you get to work hard, do your best, as well as get a close and helpful supervision. So, you get the opportunity to learn quite faster.”
Kalin will be going for technical training in March. His advice to those thinking of a career in the trades: “Be ready to work hard with your hands. It may be dirty, but it’s a good job.” Kalin’s goals include getting his Journeyperson certification as a carpenter and starting his own company specializing in interior finishing. Kalin has also been featured on one of our Apprenticeship brochures.
For more information on the Gabriel Dumont Institute Indigenous Apprenticeship Program, please contact Sara Belair at firstname.lastname@example.org.