Mining company, school partner for Nunavut trades training – by Lisa Gregoire (Nunatsiaq News – May 2, 2016)

Uluadluak is only 18, but she just finished making a purple-and-black parka for a friend. The Baker Lake high school student also crochets, thanks to her mom’s fine instruction. But last week, she was a hairdresser.

“I like fixing people’s hair,” said the Grade 11 student, originally from Arviat. “My favourite part was learning how to braid. I learned two kinds of braids, a French braid and an African braid.”

Uluadluak was one of 70 Jonah Amitnaaq Secondary School students from Grades 10 to 12 to participate April 25 to April 29 in TASK, or the Trades Awareness and Skills Knowledge week. Now in its third year, the program gives kids a break from math and science for a week to experience what it would be like to work in a trade when they get older.

Last week, students got to choose from hairdressing, welding, electrical, mechanical, plumbing and culinary arts.

The TASK week is offered through a partnership between the school and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., which operates a gold mine about 110 kilometres north of Baker Lake.

The mining company provides most of the instructors although this year, Nunavut Arctic College also provided two. Those instructors are paired up with senior high school teachers to offer skills training and student evaluations.

“As a school, our goal is to get our students ready for post-secondary institutions and different programs and the mine was in need of deeper skilled labour pool in the region,” said Jonah Amitnaaq vice principal Chris Snow. So the partnership makes sense.

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