Makayla Akey, a first-year student at Barriere Secondary school, shows her completion certificate and the projects she welded herself during the July Youth Welding Camp held at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Kamloops                                (Elli Kohnert photo)

Makayla Akey, a first-year student at Barriere Secondary school, shows her completion certificate and the projects she welded herself during the July Youth Welding Camp held at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Kamloops (Elli Kohnert photo)

Barriere student completes Youth Welding Camp at TRU

By Elli Kohnert

Makayla Akey, a first-year student at Barriere Secondary school, tells that she recently had the exciting experience of attending the Youth Welding Camp at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Kamloops.

TThe five-day-camp, called Arx & Sparx, was hosted by TRU Indigenous Education, developed by the CWB Welding Foundation and funded by LNG Canada. By giving young people an opportunity to understand what welding is all about, and what it can do in terms of creativity and future employment, the camp opens the possibility of a career opportunity for those who attend the camp.

Makayla was one of three girls in a total of 18 participants, and says she had no problem working together with everybody. The participants start by learning welding safety, and basics about welding. Indigenous cultural awareness is also a big part of these camps, with Elders and community members from area bands being present to provide cultural input in regards to what the students are learning, and also in regards to the students individual projects.

Makayla notes the final segment of the welding course, was when the students had an opportunity to apply what they had learned to the creation of their own projects, which was a great experience. She says there were five different animal designs to choose from with Indigenous cultural teachings in regards to each design.

Makayla made a turtle, a bear, and a combined piece using various forms, saying she was very happy with the results – something she can keep as a good time memory while learning a new skill.

Attending the Youth Welding Camp for Makayla was also a family affair, as her father James drove her to Kamloops every day so she could attend the camp.

“I am thankful for the learning experience my daughter had,” said her Dad, “And I am very proud of her for taking part in the event.”

Arx and Sparx camps are developed and hosted by CWB Welding Foundation (CWBWF), a national not-for-profit charitable organization that works with partners to sustain the need for skilled welding professionals in the workforce. CWBWF has hosted nearly 170 youth welding camps across Canada since 2014.

Summer 2019 camps are funded by LNG Canada, and training is provided by TRU School of Trades and Technology welding instructors. Arx and Sparx welding camps are part of CWBWF’s efforts to build and maintain a highly-skilled Canadian welding workforce.

Learn more about welding training at TRU: https://www.tru.ca/trades/trades-programs/welder.html