Message from the SUTIL Chair – Paul Blankestijn – Saskatchewan Apprenticeship

To begin, I would like to introduce myself: Paul Blankestijn, journeyperson carpenter, proud father, and longstanding member of SUTIL for the past twelve years. During this time, I have worked for Saskatchewan Apprenticeship as the manager of our Youth Apprenticeship Program, where we promote the skilled trades as a viable first choice career option to high school students. Each year, it seems impossible to imagine a busier season, one filled with more high schools, events, and student interaction. And yet, here we are: it is a pleasure to be able to report that 2019 has been our busiest season yet; travelling from September to December for a total of four months, to 82 high schools, attending 15 additional career fair events, and interacting with thousands of students along the way.

This year, I am extremely grateful for the team we have, and I use the word team lightly: we truly are a family who travel together through adverse weather conditions, attending events at early hours in the morning, and handle difficult situations at times. Additionally, I am continually blown away by the efforts of our PSE committee who organize our travel schedule, and especially this year, have made incredible efforts to provide inclusive opportunities to all areas of the province. A special thank you goes out to our communications committee, who have developed what I believe to be an exceptional website and line of contact to the schools we connect with each year.

In addition to this being the busiest travel season to date, SUTIL as an organization has also mirrored this growth as a result. SUTIL is now composed of 37 post-secondary institutions and 74 members in total, all of which are passionate about our mission statement. We have a variety of talent and creative minds on our team, and I look forward to seeing what they come up in terms of events and growing SUTIL even further in the future. Regardless of this, SUTIL will continue to provide upcoming graduates with many unique options and opportunities for their post-graduation plans.

On behalf of SUTIL as a whole, I can speak with confidence that we look forward to connecting with high schools across the province, bring information to students in order to prepare them for their future career paths. It is vital that students know just how many career opportunities exists, and that choosing a path that is right for them is one of the most important decisions they will ever make. We simply stress that having a plan is all it takes: a plan for after graduation, a plan to responsibly contribute to society, and a plan for a career that feels authentic. Whether this plan includes university, apprenticeship, carrying on a family business, or entering the workforce… this is mostly irrelevant. The plan, however, made with confidence and integrity, will always be the mission of SUTIL as a team.

Paul Blankestijn

SUTIL Chair 2019


Even though I am over a half a Century old, I have been inspired by the group to go for higher education. I have applied to the University of Regina and I got accepted. I plan on taking classes there and there and I pray and hope I will be successful to obtain two more degrees before I reach age 55. I want to be a role model for the students, my family, and the community. Before retiring I will tackle Masters.

Jimmy Charles
Stanley Mission Rhoda Hardlotte Memorial High School

I really appreciate the SUTIL group and connections of associate members.  This makes planning a career day so much easier.  Thank you!

Shelly Fransoo
John Paul II Collegiate

Great Opportunity to allow students and parents to get the information from the institutions themselves.

John Svenson
Melville Comprehensive

Fantastic service to students in remote areas many of whom are not exposed to their opportunities in life.

Clarence Neault
Senator Myles Venne School

Was a great morning!  Kids were highly engaged and had the opportunity to see a lot of options for post secondary!

Michelle Wolf
Carnduff Education Complex

Easy to plan. Great opportunity for students! Presenters were excellent and engaging. I thought it was great. Good diversity of options for students. Awesome!

Jeff Pederson
Aden Bowman

The event is very well organized and provides students with a great student:presenter ratio.

Darin Faubert
Wadena Composite

Looking forward to having you come again next year.

Ryan Johnson
Davidson and Kenaston School

The SUTIL Booths Only event allows students and parents/guardians to connect with recruiters from a wide variety of institutions and receive pertinent information firsthand in a relaxed atmosphere.

Donna Bouchard
Marion M. Graham Collegiate

I appreciate the ease of planning this event. Communication was excellent and efficient.  I love the SWAG that students and I get.

Bonnie Baron-Williams
Thom Collegiate

I appreciate all of the communication from the institutes ! Everything is well organized! Thanks!

Kipp Bayer
Sturgis Composite School

Happy Friday the 13th of December,

Thank you for The SUTIL Scoop and the SUTIL team visit at Rhoda Hardlotte Keethanow High School in Northern Saskatchewan. I noticed some of the team members were into Volleyball during the noon hour. Maybe that is how the team works; to have fun and to laugh and to warm up before presenting to the students and staff. Great Team! Thank you once again, SUTIL Team.

Jimmy Charles
Guidance Counselor-Stanley Mission

Hi Linda and Cheryl,

Thank you on behalf of Nutana Collegiate for bringing your event to our students. I have been hearing nothing but positive feedback in the building since this morning. Being new in the career facilitator role in my building, I can’t tell you how grateful I am for having such a well-organized and easy (from the host school perspective) event to offer to my students. All of the hard work that you have put in is much appreciated. I look forward to future events.

Shona Iverson-Career Facilitator
Nutana Collegiate

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