Free Future Skills Experience Showcases the Power of Technical Education Programs

In late January and February 2021, students across North America will select which programs they want to enroll in for the following school year. During these months, Edge Factor and Mastercam are equipping educators, industry, and workforce leaders with high impact tools to celebrate technical education programs and encourage students to get involved!

In tech-ed programs like Apprenticeships, Career and Technical Education, Co-Ops, and Internships, students can work on tangible projects that develop skills like problem-solving, time management, communication, and critical thinking. These essential life skills help students and job-seekers to learn in these programs, as students see projects through to completion and test their technical skills. Topics within Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) come alive with hands-on projects while students gain job-specific skills. Students involved in technical education programs have the opportunity to realize their potential and discover what they are (and aren’t!) interested in.

The US-based Association of Career and Technical Education shares that “the average high school graduation rate for students concentrating in CTE programs is 93 percent, compared to an average national freshman graduation rate of 80 percent.” In Canada, graduates of tech-ed programs and skilled trades careers are in high demand. According to the Government of Canada, “The demand for skilled tradespeople is expected to remain strong as our economy moves towards recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. Between 2019 and 2028, about 700,000 skilled trades workers are also expected to retire. Meeting these demands will require the recruitment and training of thousands of additional skilled workers.”

The Future Skills Experience

To celebrate and showcase tech-ed programs, Mastercam is partnering with Edge Factor, alongside ABB, NTMA and AMPED, California’s Arts, Media, and Entertainment, National Coalition of Advanced Technical Centers, and SME Education Foundation on the FREE Future Skills Experience. Schools, Companies, Workforce leaders, and Community members can register to access this Experience and get equipped to host virtual presentations using a FREE, turnkey toolkit of high impact media. This toolkit includes free content that highlights industries, careers, and tech-ed programs related to STEAM, a Keynote presentation, and practical “How To” Guides for organizations to learn how to host an engaging Future Skills presentation and/or a virtual event.

“Mastercam jumped at the chance to be a part of the collaboration behind Future Skills Experience. Getting students involved in technical education opportunities is an important aspect of building a skilled workforce, revitalizing the economy, and building an awareness of the many rewarding career paths available to young people thinking about their futures. It’s exciting that educators and leaders can access these free, high quality and readily available tools and resources to promote education and opportunity within their communities,” said Graham Hargreaves, Mastercam Marketing Manager.

6 Reasons Your School, Company, or Organization Should Host a Future Skills Experience

  1. Recruit new students to enroll in tech-ed programs in high school and/or post-secondary education.
  2. Inspire students and job-seekers to pursue careers in the skilled trades.
  3. Reach parents at home to change antiquated perceptions of skilled trades careers and tech-ed.
  4. Promote your school’s tech-ed programs and/or your company’s career pathways.
  5. Build relationships between local schools and businesses by inviting them to participate and share information on the opportunities they offer students, over a video conferencing call! (Check out the How To Guides for more info on how.)
  6. Help students understand how STEAM comes alive in real-world training programs and careers.

“The goal of the Future Skills Experience is to show students that there are many pathways to success, and regardless of which pathway they take, hands-on programs can help them in their career journey,” said Larissa Hofman, Vice President of Edge Factor. Technical Education programs can provide students with College Credits, empower them to launch a well paying career straight out of high school, pave the way to University, or lead to more in-depth Apprenticeship or Internship programs. The opportunities are endless and the benefits are clear: Tech-ed programs equip students with real skills for the real world.

How can you access the FREE Future Skills Experience?

The Future Skills Experience is available for FREE from January 4 to March 2, 2021. For Edge Factor Premium members, it will be available all year. To access the free Future Skills Experience, all you need to do is register on this page. As soon as you register, you’ll gain instant access to the tools and resources, and be able to share the links across your network!