Canada needs to encourage more youths to pursue skilled trade jobs – The Conversation

 

There are tangible signs that we are experiencing a shortage of skilled tradespeople — a problem that is set to worsen. A survey of 445 companies by Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters found that 42 per cent of respondents reported their companies had lost or turned down contracts or paid late delivery penalties because of a lack of workers. About 17 per cent of respondents said that their company was considering moving outside of Canada to find workers. 77 per cent of companies said attracting and retaining quality workers was their biggest concern. BuildForce Canada projects that, by 2027, approximately 13 per cent of the construction sector will reach retirement age. The problem isn’t just that these workers are retiring, but that they are not being replaced. The stigma around being a tradesperson is one reason for this. Immigration is not making up the gap – barriers prevent newcomers from taking up the trades they learned in their home countries and practicing them in Canada. As the supply of tradespeople continues to shrink, the next generation of tradespeople will find it more difficult to line up apprenticeships because there will be fewer mentors available to train them. […]

 

Commentary: Efforts must continue to promote to Canadians careers in skilled trades. This includes promoting skilled trades to young people, their parents, teachers, and guidance counsellors. CHBA is also calling on the federal government to continue all actions to promote skilled trades as a career choice. This should include financial supports to companies to support apprentices, like the new Canadian Apprenticeship Service. CHBA also continues to call for and take action on the promotion of the skilled trades in groups traditionally underrepresented in the current construction labour force, including women, Indigenous peoples, and new Canadians. To learn more about CHBA’s recommendations to government on the skilled trades, please see Unlocking the Door to Homeownership: 2022 Recommendations on the Federal Role.

 

Ontario invests $90 million in skilled trades program for those facing barriers to employment – Global News

 

Ontario says it is investing $90 million in new funding for a program that aims to help find work for those who are unemployed or underemployed. Labour Minister Monte McNaughton announced the new round of funding for the Skills Development Fund, which will prioritize helping people with prior involvement in the criminal justice system, at-risk youth, people with disabilities, Indigenous peoples and Ukrainian newcomers. He said the province is facing a “historic” labour shortage, with 370,000 unfilled jobs. This new round of funding will prioritize applications for the skilled trades, health care, technology and manufacturing industries. The Skills Development Fund will cover the cost of the first round of training needed for that program, which works out to about $12,000. “We’re in a state of the province right now where we do have shortages and it’s really an untapped market.”

 

Commentary: The construction industry continues to face chronic labour and skills shortages. To keep pace with retirements and demand, a significant portion will need to come from groups traditionally underrepresented in the current construction labour force, including women, Indigenous people, and new Canadians. On the federal side, CHBA is advocating for a continuation of the promotion of careers in skilled trades to support training and to provide financial support to companies and individuals with respect to skilled workers. CHBA also recommends improving the immigration system for skilled workers to respond better and more quickly to labour shortages in residential construction through permanent immigration solutions.