Name: Dylan Ponsioen
Skills Yukon Affiliation: Two-Time First-Place Winner Outdoor Power and Recreation (Secondary)
Trade & Certifications: First-year apprentice Outdoor Power and Recreation Equipment Technician
Current workplace: Listers Motor Sports
How did you get involved in Skills Yukon?
I was told by my shop teacher that there was a competition for small engines, and he thought it would be a great idea for me to compete, knowing how much I loved working on small engines.
What do you feel like you have gained from competitions?
The competition, I feel, gave me the ability to improve my skills and challenged what I knew. I gained so much more understanding and knowledge from the competitions.
How did you decide on your trade?
I have been working in the outdoor power and recreation industry for over three years now. I’ve always been interested in the profession, so I decided to get an apprenticeship and make this my career.
Have you always been interested in trades?
I have been brought up in a very trade-oriented family. My grandfather was a machinist and my father is a very talented mechanic, so from a young age, I was learning [about] and fixing snowmobiles and quads. Now I’m working in an amazing industry.
Where do you see your career in five or 10 years?
In five to 10 years, I would really like to see myself teaching shop class, spreading the knowledge I learned (through my mentors) to kids so they can learn and possibly pursue the trade.
Was there anything you did in high school that helped you become better at the work you do now?
I got support from my teachers and employers. They saw the talent I had and supported me to give it my all, helping me to pursue what I wanted to do. I wasn’t the best or smartest kid in school but all my teachers saw my potential and showed me that anything I put my mind to was possible.
Was there anything you found intimidating about your job before you started? If so, how did you overcome that?
I never really found my job intimidating; I did find that there was a lot of learning involved, though. I have learned so much and I wouldn’t be where I am without my co-workers teaching me and showing me what to do in the industry.
Is there a part of your trade that surprised you to learn?
Working on boats and outboard motors surprised me the most. There are so many little tricks to learn, to make everything run and work as it should.
What does a “normal” day on the job look like for you?
A normal day for me is all over the place. I could come in and work on an outboard in the morning, and after lunch I could be working on a snowmobile or quad—so I am always learning, and most of the issues are not the same, so it really tests your knowledge.
What is the most-interesting thing/project you have worked on?
I would say the most-interesting project I have worked on is stripping and rebuilding engines. There are so many intricate parts and tricks to make a motor run as it should.
Are you eligible for any grants or incentives for doing an apprenticeship in the Yukon?
I know in the apprenticeship program, after every exam, you get a thousand dollars, and what I found awesome is that I can claim my tools that I buy on my taxes.
Where will you take your training?
I will be going to NAIT in the spring, for school, because my courses are only offered in Alberta.
What is your favourite part of your job?
My favourite part is that it is constant learning and testing my knowledge. No one will judge you if you mess up; they will teach you how to do it, so in the future you will know.