Training WELDING 89
The Private Education
For some individuals, the traditional college route to obtain a welding
education isn’t a good option. That’s where private colleges come in,
says Olga Palatics, who co-owns and runs with husband Jonathan
bennett canadian Welding Skills, a private welding college based in
Ennismore, On. The private college is one of many similar colleges
available across canada.
The school is registered with the Ministry of Training colleges and
Universities and offers welding diploma programs. it is also certified as a
c Wb test centre.
Palatics sites two key reasons why a private college is advantageous
for some people.
“We only do welding here. When you take a welding technician
program elsewhere you have to take general college courses and it takes
longer. Some people are not in a financial position to take the time to go
full time to college for a year or two. Here, we offer a ten-week entry level
multi-process program and a six week pressure pipe welding program.”
Perhaps more importantly, the school prides itself on its low
student/teacher ratio. at full capacity, 23 students are trained by
four full time instructors.
“John used to teach welding at a community college and he found it
frustrating that for a hands-on trade, he couldn’t be as attentive as he’d
like with students. He always said that if he started a school, which he did
in 1993, he’d have a low student to teacher ratio.”
another advantage, says Palatics, is that if an individual doesn’t
have his or her high school diploma, as long as that person passes a
canadian Welding Skill's facility, left.
below: Senior instructor Joey Gyvetvan
demonstrating SMa W welding to a
instructor Linsey Murphy
with students, including
one of a growing number
of female welders.
test, “it means the person isn’t shut
out of the opportunity to become
Palatics adds that it’s an
especially good environment for
people who have been identified
with learning disabilities.
“i was a math teacher and if
you have a learning disability,
it’s an attractive option and
a good fit because it’s small
group instruction and personal
The school’s 557 sq m ( 6,000
sq ft facility) houses 23 welding
booths “with no sharing of
equipment, which is an important
consideration,” says Palatics.
and if students are from out
of town--the school recently
graduated a 20-year-old woman
who lives in red Lake, On--the
school offers housing located 1
km from the school.
“We’re not knocking community
college because for some that’s
the best route. but the beauty of
a private college like ours is that
you’re not bound the same way.
you’re tutored individually and
instructors can keep up with your
speed of learning.”