Skilled trade jobs are often overlooked.
There are still myths that a skilled trade is just a job, not a career, and that you don’t have to be very smart to succeed. This is far from the truth – many skilled trades require technical skills, math, and hours of training.
It is tradespeople that keep our utilities running, repair our appliances, build and maintain our roads, as well as many other things that are integral to our daily lives.
So what can we do to solve Canada’s current shortage of tradespeople? Read on to learn more.
Canada’s trade worker shortage
Several factors contribute to the shortage, including demographics. In the years ahead, more waves of retirement will follow the baby boomers who built, fixed, and kept our communities running. By 2027, approximately 13 percent of the construction sector will be retired, according to Buildforce Canada.
It isn’t just that these workers are retiring; there aren’t enough workers to replace them. One reason for this is the stigma that has long been attached to pursuing a career in the trades.
Trade schools and community colleges are often considered secondary options, even though many skilled tradespeople can make far more money than other professions requiring a university degree or college diploma.
Making strides toward closing the gap
Despite the current shortage of tradespeople, some measures can be taken to address the issue. Among them are:
- Promoting workplace cultures that welcome and assist women and minorities in entering the trades, breaking stereotypes about women working in construction
- Early exposure to hands-on learning about the trades and demonstrating that a tradesperson can also be an entrepreneur
- Mentoring young women entering the trades and highlighting influential role models to help them understand how fulfilling a trades career can be
Fortunately, the Ontario government has committed $4.8 million toward expanding the dual credit program to help prepare more students for good-paying jobs of the future. As a result of the expansion of the dual credit apprenticeship program, 2,200 additional high school students will have the opportunity to earn college credits and train as apprentices while still in high school, encouraging them to consider careers in the skilled trades. Click here to learn more.
How Apprenticeships work
Sometimes the apprenticeship process can feel daunting, but there are organizations, such as Trades for Tomorrow, that can help you through your apprenticeship pathway.
Click here to learn more about the process for starting and completing an apprenticeship in Ontario.
If you are interested in an apprenticeship as a sponsor group, Trades for Tomorrow can help you find a placement.