The skilled trades have become more of an attractive career option than ever before.
With higher than average pay, stable hours and very low out-front education costs a career in the trades is a viable path that young people should investigate.
The federal and provincial governments both recently announced additional incentives to join the movement to the trades.
The province revealed its Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy to improve training opportunities. As part of the strategy, the government will be developing a new website to help individuals and employers make informed decisions about training and apprenticeship. The 2017 Budget also makes significant investment into skills development, building upon previous investments, as well, promised infrastructure spending such as the $190 billion in long-term infrastructure plans, and $500 million to retrofit social housing apartments, will increase the demand for skilled tradespeople.
“Ontario has a tremendous opportunity to become a leader in skilled training outcomes in North America,” said Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance (OSTA) Chair, Joe Vaccaro. “While these investments are welcome, it is also important that government reviews the effectiveness of ongoing investments to make the training experience accessible for all Ontarians and develop the skills for the jobs of tomorrow… Ultimately our shared goal is to create the best training and apprenticeship system in North America.”
Almost one in every five new jobs created in Ontario requires a skilled tradesperson. With more baby boomers retiring and fewer young people entering the trades, these skilled positions become harder to fill. If Ontario’s skills gap goes unaddressed, according to the Conference Board of Canada it could result in 560,000 unfilled positions by 2030; up to $24 billion in lost economic opportunity and $3.7 billion in provincial revenues annually.
Federally, a new internal-trade deal that will remove domestic trade barriers and add billions of dollars to the economy was announced in April. The Agreement contains a major step forward on labour mobility and skills recognition. It endorses trades who are certified in one province “to be recognized as qualified for that occupation by all.”
With the increasing amount of infrastructure spending by both levels of government and increased emphases on housing, the trades are an essential element of the proposed processes, without them nothing can be built.
There has never been a better time to learn a trade, it is a viable option that will give you job choice and stability whether you stay in the GTA or move anywhere across Canada.
Author: Anita De Vries