Despite the steady work and good pay a career in the skilled trades can provide, employers in the industry are having a hard time finding workers. To help fix the labour shortage, the province is investing in getting high school students interested in careers in the trades.
Stephen Lecce, Ontario’s Minister of Education, along with Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development made a funding announcement in the plumbing lab at George Brown College’s Casa Loma Campus on October 31, 2019. The province is expanding its Specialist High Skills Major program to include 122 new programs encouraging high school students to work in the trades. And perhaps after high school those students will consider training at George Brown.
George Brown is one of the leading providers of skilled trades training in Ontario, offering apprenticeships and credentials in carpentry, plumbing and welding, as well as building information management (BIM) and Ontario’s only degree program in construction management.
“With the Ontario Chamber of Commerce predicting a significant shortage of skilled trade workers over the next 15 years, it’s essential that we do everything we can to support students who wish to enter the trades. This includes creating opportunities for women, immigrants and other underrepresented groups to explore options in these fields,” George Brown College President Anne Sado said.
According to the province, by 2021 an estimated one in five jobs in Ontario will be in trades-related occupations.