Career Spotlight: Apprentices

May 30, 2015 | Elle

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How many times have we heard the following: "Get a college diploma, get a university degree - these will get you good jobs!" What we really should be looking at is the labour market, and then gaining the practical skills, and checking out where the job vacancies are.

In April 2015, the Globe and Mail wrote about a shortage of 100,000 skilled workers over the next 10 years, particularly in the construction industry - a shortage exacerbated by a trend of an entire generation of young workers pursuing college or university degrees. So they finish high school, go to college and/or university, may/may not be able to find meaningful employment and by the time they turn 27, come to the realization that they really want a career and to make some decent money, according to the Ontario Construction Secretariat. That's when many workers are finding their way back to the trades. Twenty-seven is now the average age for a construction apprentice.
The Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS) indicated that 252,000 workers are required in Canada’s construction sector over the next decade. They anticipate attracting an estimated 152,000 first-time new entrants from Canada’s population. This leaves a gap of 100,000 workers. In Ontario, the gap is 40,000 workers.
Buildforce Canada also indicated in their report that this is a severe shortage.
The Ontario government has been actively encouraging young people to enter a trade profession. Recent announcements included a promise to pour an additional $55-million into three apprenticeship training programs at colleges and other institutions across Ontario, while $13-million will go towards bolstering the Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program. This program is aimed at at-risk youths, aboriginal people, newcomers and women - all of whom are underrepresented in the trades.
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