At the same time that youth unemployment is more than double the national average, industry and labour cannot find enough skilled workers to keep up with demand. This skills shortage is critical, and without a concerted effort by industry, labour, education and government, Ontario’s ability to compete in today’s global economy will be severely diminished.
This coincidence of high youth unemployment during a period of severe skills shortage is a serious paradox. Many exciting and rewarding career opportunities are available to our young people in the skilled trades. But many young people and their parents believe that these jobs are dirty, labour-intensive and pay low wages.
- FACT – People who work in the skilled trades and technologies are virtually guaranteed long, productive, stable careers
- FACT – Skilled workers require a high level of skill, judgment and creativity to use the sophisticated technology of the trades.
- FACT – People working in the skilled trades make above average salaries, with top performers in some trades earning well over $60 000 per year.
- FACT – Many tradespeople continue to develop careers in management, teaching, or as owners of their own businesses.
If you are the parent of a high school student who enjoys working with his/her hands, and who learns best in an “experiential” environment, please encourage your son or daughter to talk to a Cooperative Education or Guidance teacher about the unique career opportunities offered by OYAP. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on post-secondary diplomas and degrees, your son or daughter can experience a practical approach to post-secondary training as an apprentice learning in the workplace. He/she will earn a good wage while preparing for trade certification that is recognized across Ontario and possibly other areas of Canada in all sectors of our economy.