According to new information released the by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce in their “Taking Action on Skilled Trades” research report, Ontario will face a shortage of about 100,000 skilled trade workers in the manufacturing and building sectors over the next 15 years, due to retirement.
People are talking about trades quite often. Some people go to university and some people take a trade. We need people doing both these days. If you have tried to hire a tradesperson lately, you might find that it takes awhile for the business to come and get the work done. There just aren’t as many tradespeople around these days. Companies are constantly looking for tradespeople. So why is that?
Trades can include computer technicians, electricians, plumbers, mechanics, machinists, auto body workers, heavy equipment operators, carpenters, pipefitters, furnace technicians, roofers, steel workers, bakers, truck drivers, and many others.
These people are vital to our existence. Many of them work for small business, which is what drives our economy. When we need them, we just expect them to be there for us. But they aren’t always there in a timely fashion. It can take months to have someone available.
If you recall years ago, the government and school systems decided to stop offering shop classes in schools. They were cost cutting wherever they could. It wasn’t vital learning, so they axed it. Now the results of that decision are coming to the forefront. There is a huge need for people doing this kind of work.
Going backwards for a moment, if young people are not exposed to these types of learning initiatives, then how can they make decisions based on only what they have experienced? They can’t! As they go through the school system, they are told to take certain courses based on what they want to do in life. How can they do that if they are only exposed to a limited number of choices?
When I went to school, we were told that if you don’t go to university, you won’t do very well in life. We know this is false. It’s just a belief system some people have. You can do anything you want to do if you have the passion and drive to see it through. Education and learning have changed a lot over the years.
Young people need to be exposed to the trades and all the options that are before them. We are now seeing this demand because of the elimination of the shop classes in schools long ago. It is only now that the decision has been made to reinstate the classes back into the curriculum. Because of this, there is now a gap in the system of tradespeople. This can happen any time there is something discontinued or cancelled. It called a disruptor in the system.
There are people who would excel at these trades if they knew they existed. Even adults would, if they had a chance to give it a try at some point. You don’t know, what you don’t know.
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Until next time…