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Success Story: Michael Sims

Nov 17, 2016

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By Ashley Hayden

I recently sat down with my client, Michael Sims, who is a Year I Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic apprentice with the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure in Moose Jaw to talk about his experience and hopes for the future. I have closely worked with Michael as his Employment Counsellor for over a year now.

Asked how he first heard about the GDI Aboriginal Apprenticeship Program, Michael stated that his “mother was looking for a Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic program that would take me in. She then saw an ad on SaskJobs and wrote the number down.” Once Michael and his mom realized that the ad was by GDI Training and Employment, they “were excited because being Métis, I had a better chance of being accepted and (the training) was right here (in Moose Jaw).”

Thus, by the time Michael visited the GDI Training and Employment Regina Centre for his appointment with me, he already knew what trade he was interested in. As he recalled, “I knew what I wanted, and Ashley helped me with the correct process, the forms I needed, and lots of good advice.”

Regarding his job, Michael noted that “I like my job as a Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic apprentice. I like hands-on work, and it is satisfying to see a truck I helped fix roll out safe.” He continued, “It feels good to be working in the field I dreamed of as a young boy.”

Michael is very determined and has his eyes set on the future: “My career goal is within this industry. I’d like to get my Red Seal certification and have a secure job at an organization like the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure.”

Michael shared his philosophy on life and work stating that, “Work your hardest and be willing to learn at any moment.” He spoke of the importance of surrounding oneself with “people who believe you can achieve your dream no matter the obstacles you are facing.”

Furthermore, Michael expressed pride in his Métis identity and appreciation to Gabriel Dumont Institute. As he put it, “There is pride in being part of a school that recognizes heritage, understands the barriers you face, and supports and celebrates your success.” Michael also described how is mother is proud of Gabriel Dumont Institute.

At the end of our conversation, Michael said, “I would still be in a low paying job with uncertain prospects if it were not for Gabriel Dumont Institute. They have accepted me into the apprenticeship program in a trade I have always loved, given me funding to buy tools and help me start my career. Thank you.” You are very welcome Michael. We are cheering for you and are always here for you.

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

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