KPU "game changers" try-a-trade at international expo

Wed, Oct 21, 2015

Vancouver, B.C. - Three teams from Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) and Ledcor showed off their scaffolding skills for students 'trying out a trade' at the 2015 International LNG Conference in Vancouver.

Hosted by the B.C. government, the event featured a three-day GameChanger Youth Expo which taught 1,500 students from across the province about careers in the LNG industry. The try-a-trade demonstration featured six students from KPU's millwright and electrical foundations programs, all novice scaffolders, who were excited to take on the challenge.

"We have to learn some scaffolding for the millwright trade so I was glad for the opportunity to gain some experience," said KPU student Robert Lukas. "I loved it. It's very hands on - like big-boy Lego."

Keith MacGregor, a former construction safety officer and current millwright foundation students, echoed Lukas's enthusiasm.

"I had done scaffolding removal before but had never had the opportunity to build it. It was great working hands-on with a foreman and learning from him."

The four-hour scaffolding competition involved building a structure from a set of blueprints, and each team was led by a certified journeyperson scaffolder from Ledcor's Fort Hills E & T job site.

"I was a little nervous at first," said Josh Ruddock, a Ledcor employee brought in for the event. "But these guys picked it up really quickly. It made my job a lot easier."

Judged on the safety and stability of the structure, as well as workmanship and time, the first-place team took home $1,000, and second place received $500. A $2,000 contribution was also made to KPU.

The GameChanger Youth Expo was sponsored by CLAC - Canada's largest independent, multi-sector union - in partnership with the Ledcor Group of Companies.

"Ledcor and CLAC share a common goal in empowering youth in B.C. through continued education and development," said Larry Richardson, CLAC's B.C. training director. "Events such as the GameChanger Youth Expo will help provide the next generation of talented apprentices with the keys to success as they develop their skills and explore future career paths in the liquefied natural gas industry."

Photos from the B.C. government's 2015 International LNG Conference are available here.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at

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