High schools operated by District School Board Ontario North East are extra busy lately, hosting skills competitions.

Students in technology programs at the board’s nine high schools are competing in areas as diverse as aesthetics and baking to carpentry and electrical installation.

Student success administrator Lisa Yee says the competitions enable and empower the students to consider careers in skilled trades.

“It’s really through these competitions and experiential learning that we’re able to incorporate curriculum into innovative learning opportunities and promote the skilled trades and technologies,” she says.

Yee adds that students are being put through their paces in any of 18 areas.

“We essentially offer non-traditional trades related skills competitions such as aesthetics and baking.  But at the same time, we offer automotive and home and team building carpentry.”

Others include electrical installation, character animation, graphic design, photography and TV and video production.

The district competitions lead to regional and eventually provincial events.