KPU students clinch podium finishes at Skills Canada National Competition



Skills Canada National Competition
Nathaniel Printis (L) silver medalist with Ron McKeown (R), KPU Welding Instructor.

Skills Canada National Competition
Kevin O’Connor (L) and Jason Thompson (R) with their bronze medals.

For immediate release

June 17, 2013

KPU students clinch podium finishes at Skills Canada National Competition

Metro Vancouver, BC – With 500 students competing in more than 40 trades, the annual Skills Canada National Competition is the ultimate test for young Canadians studying a skills trade or technology. Among those vying for the honour of being crowned the best in their chosen discipline, were three Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) students: Nathaniel Printis, Kevin O’Connor and Jason Thompson, who each earned a medal at the 19th annual competition held June 5-8, 2013 in Vancouver.

Printis, a KPU Welding student and Vancouver resident, received a silver medal in the competition’s Welding category and adds to a gold medal he earned in the provincial competition held in April. “Being able to compete nationally and represent BC as a welder in the Skills Canada Competition has been one of the biggest highlights of my life,” said Printis. “Being able to partake in this competition has opened many doors for me and has allowed me to meet many influential and respected members of the BC welding community.”

O’Connor, a Vancouver resident enrolled in KPU’s Landscaping Apprenticeship Program, and Thompson, a Langley resident and KPU Turf Management Diploma student, competed as a team to take bronze in the Landscape Gardening category. The two students add to the gold medal finish they recently secured at the provincial competition.

“It was a privilege to be able to compete against the most skilled young workers from across Canada,” said O’Connor. “Earning a spot on the podium gives me not only a wonderful feeling of accomplishment, but also greater confidence in taking on new challenges.”

“To make the podium, especially with a good friend as my partner for the event, is an achievement to be proud of,” added Thompson. “None of it could have been possible without the help of KPU Instructor Rob Welch and the use of the facilities in the KPU Horticulture Department.”

Skills competitions provide opportunities for Canadian youth studying a skilled trade or technology to be tested within exacting standards and against their peers from across the nation. A number of interactive hands-on activities were offered at the national competition, encouraging students to get engaged and excited about a future in skilled trades or technology. Started in 1994, the Skills Canada National Competition remains the only national, Olympic-style, multi-trade and technology competition for young students and apprentices in the country.

KPU’s Faculty of Trades and Technology offers leading-edge trades and technology programs, including: appliance servicing, automotive service technician, carpentry, CADD technologies, electrical, farrier, masonry, millwright, parts and warehousing, plumbing, public safety communications and welding. For more information please visit:

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and Academic & Career Preparation. Over 18,000 students annually have a choice from over 200 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations.


For more information about KPU, contact:
Joanne Saunders
Director, Communications and Marketing Services
Tel: 604.599.2888