Paolo Gualtieri, a plumbing student at Verdun Adult & Career Centre (VACC), is representing Quebec at the upcoming Skills Canada Virtual National Competition. Paolo will be competing in a virtual competition with 7 other plumbing students from May 28-30. The competition will be broadcast on YouTube on June 15. This year’s competition is virtual because of ongoing Covid-related restrictions.
Major career shift
Prior to enrolling in the Plumbing program, Paolo was a credit analyst in finance for 12 years. Deciding to enrol in plumbing was a major personal and career shift for Paolo. His father was a contractor, so he was familiar with the construction trades. He also has family members who work in various trades. Paolo likes the challenge of learning a technical trade, such as plumbing. He also likes the fact that there is always a demand for plumbers.
When asked what he’s learned in the program, Paolo responded, “Learning how to visualize your work and putting it into perspective.” He’s also been surprised in the program, “how something that looks so simple, can be an extremely difficult task to accomplish.”
Skills Canada Virtual National Competition
Skills Compétences Canada’s mission is “to encourage and support a coordinated Pan-Canadian approach to promoting skilled careers in trades and technologies to youth and their communities.” Students who win at the national level have the opportunity to represent Canada internationally at the World Skills Competition.
Paolo’s teacher, Evangelos Afenticoglou (Angelo) nominated him for the competition. When asked why he nominated Paolo, Angelo responded, “His dedication to the best possible work was a big factor in my agreeing to work with Paolo in preparation for this competition. I saw great potential in him and a real desire to elevate his skills. Paolo’s attendance, work ethic, and attention to detail are strong indicators for future success.”
The respect between teacher and student is mutual. Angelo has become Paolo’s mentor in the program. “Angelo is by far the most technical, organized, and knowledgeable human I have encountered in the 32 years of my life. The knowledge I have gained from this gentleman is priceless to me and I would never be able to thank him enough.”
He’s excited to be participating in the Skills Canada Virtual National Competition as he likes the thrill of competition and the opportunity to represent VACC on a national stage. As a matter of fact, he’s not even nervous about the competition. He’s “very excited about this opportunity.”
That excitement will serve Paolo well since his life motto is: Give it your all – 150% because 100% isn’t enough.
Studying a trade
Paolo advises young people to consider studying Plumbing if they “love being technical, have a big drive in succeeding and of course love financial earnings... This is the trade to be in!”
Paolo found the Plumbing program on the Emplois d’Avenir website. The site lists all the trades with the best job opportunities. There are many employment sectors with a severe shortage of workers.
At the Lester B. Pearson School Board, the Plumbing and Heating Program is offered at the Verdun Adult & Career Centre (VACC), conveniently located in Verdun. VACC is an innovative learning Centre, offering vocational training programs on-site and online.
Paolo graduates in December 2021. He has said that his proudest achievement will be successfully completing the Plumbing Program. He is confident that he will land a job upon graduating, given the high demand for plumbers. We have no doubt he will succeed in his new career. We wish Paolo continued success!
How to watch Skills Canada Virtual National Competition
The link to watch the competition will be on the Skills Canada YouTube channel as of June 15. Click here to access the channel.