“I had heard Portage was one of the best. I was expecting one-on-one instruction but I didn’t expect that much. They did a great job.” Welding student Hunter Marshall has just completed Period 3 Apprenticeship Welding. He hopes to take what he learned in Period 3 and land a job in a fabrication shop, “I’d say welding is my calling. At the start I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I signed up for another trade but a spot in welding opened up and I loved it.”
The Covid-19 pandemic could have been disastrous for students of the Welding program at Portage College. But instructors adjusted by starting the program online and then safe, socially-distanced instruction in the welding lab three days a week.
“I hit the ground running and I never looked back.” Tristan Patterson has also just completed Period 3 Apprenticeship Welding. He came to Portage College from the nation’s capital after hearing about the program from a friend with an Alberta connection, “I took a welding course in Ottawa but I learned a lot at Portage College - solidifying my own skills in the processes: MIG, TIG, Flex and Metal Core, Arc, Stick and a whole lot more.”
Portage College offers all three periods of Apprenticeship Welder training at the Lac La Biche Campus. Each training period is eight weeks. As a pre-requisite, students must be registered as an apprentice with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT).
All eyes are on the Alberta Government as it considers allowing face-to-face learning for post-secondary institutions in September 2021. According to Dr. Donna Feledichuk Dean of Trades and Technology, “We are proud of how we’ve been able to deliver student success by blending our learning online and safely on campus. It’s encouraging that the number of Covid-19 cases continue to decline across the province and country. We are hopeful that our Welding program will be delivered face to face with students expected to be onsite at the Lac La Biche campus for our August 30 start date.”
Students tell us what they like most about our welding program is being able to earn while they learn. Some even go on to fuse what they’ve learned at Portage College with a future as a Red Seal.
Hunter Marshall - Welding Student Tristan Patterson - Welding Student
Hunter Marshall Tristan Patterson
For more information about the Welding program: