Skills Canada Profiles

Sky Pearson NTC

Age: 42

Red Seal Welder

Current workplace: Yukon University

What motivated you to get into this trade? I first got interested in welding while working in outdoor education at the University of Alaska Southeast, because I wanted to build an aluminum sea kayak to explore the Alaska coast with. The thought of joining metal together fascinated me. I started welding and getting training, while I lived in Juneau, striving to gain the skill sets to build the kayak. Once I moved back to Whitehorse, I decided to go to school for more welding training and start working in welding as a part-time backup job. That is when I realized how much I enjoyed working with my hands and the welding industry—and never left. Though I still have not built that aluminum kayak I wanted to.

Where has your trade taken you? Most of my career has been in the exploration and mining industry. Having this welding trade in that industry has sent me to explore a lot of the wilderness across the North. From welding on Alaskan mountain tops, the Yukon backcountry, Diamond mines in N.W.T., to the vast open tundra in Nunavut

How do you support other people entering the trade? I love to give people the opportunity to try the trade and show them the enjoyment welding can provide, by helping teach welding kids camps, to teaching pre-employment welding courses at Yukon University.

Is there a project you’ve done locally that you’d like to tell us more about? I have a lot of little projects all around the Yukon, whether it is trailers people are using or projects like the stainless-steel salmon bike rack at Whitehorse Elementary School. That bike rack was a fun build—hand bending and forming the pipe to look like a salmon just sticking out of the water. I had no plans, other than a few pictures printed off the internet, to build the idea from. When I was choosing what type of metal to build the bike rack out of, I felt stainless steel was the most durable, as mild steel would need to be regularly repainted, and aluminum potentially could have been too light and easy to tip over if children were to play on it. After I finished the project, I realized I accidently made the tail too small.

Can you tell us more about what being a Skills Canada NTC (National Technical Committee) member means? Being a Skills Canada NTC member makes me proud to be able to organize and design territorial and national competitions for the trades. I love seeing welders push themselves to be better and be able to meet other welders from across the country. Working with Skills Canada also gives me the opportunity to promote the benefit of working in skilled trades.

Do you have a favourite part of your trade? I love sticking metal together and how quickly you can see what I have created. I also know that the things I build could be around longer than I will be.

What does a regular day look like for you in your job? My typical day as a welding instructor starts with discussions of welding theory; for example, the operation of different welding processes, metallurgy, fabrication layout and design. Then we move into the shop to practice practical hands-on training. This is where I provided direction on how to improve the students’ skills sets and help them become better welders. Sometimes, instead of the students welding the same weld, over and over again, to improve their skill set, I get them to work on real-world projects like building tables, to trailers, to fixing heavy equipment.

Where do you see your career in 5, 10, 15 years? I probably will still be instructing and hopefully building small, fun projects out of my garage and teaching my kids how to weld. Maybe in 15 years, I will have completed that aluminum kayak I wanted to build 20 years ago.

How do you use your trade outside of your regular job? I like to work with introducing youth to welding and helping apprentices train for skill competitions. I occasionally build small metal art pieces and furniture made of wood and metal. I also use my skill set to help out and repair items for friends and family; for example, doing repairs on the Santa Clause garbage truck.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top