Skilled trades lacking young workers
Published Thursday, May 6, 2021 8:59PM EDT Last Updated Friday, May 7, 2021 7:40AM EDT
WINDSOR, ONT. -- The Ford government is hoping to attract young people to the skilled trades by hopefully speeding up their apprenticeship.
Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton announced Thursday a “Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades” Act.
“Skilled workers would have an easier time getting started in these life-changing jobs,” says McNaughton.
The process would be done through a new, one window digital portal.
“The legislation is moving forward quickly but if it’s passed there would be no disruption to services for apprentice’s and businesses in the transition to Skilled Trades Ontario,” McNaughton says.
If passed, it would speed up the process for potential skilled trade workers.
The online portal would allow clients to register and track their progress, while also scheduling training and exams.
The new process couldn’t come sooner, according to Jonathon Azzopardi, chairman of the Canadian Association of Mold Makers.
“Eighteen years we’ve been going through the same curriculum the same structures the same process and it worked 18 years ago but it doesn’t work today,” he says.
Azzopardi says apprentices don’t normally last past the first year because they get so frustrated and they’re learning technology that’s outdated.
“The disconnect is that we need more young people to get into the trade and more young people are saying well I can’t hold a career as well as going through this archaic process,” Azzopardi tells CTV Windsor.
According to the provincial government, one in three skilled trade workers are 55 years or older, and the average age of an apprentice is 30.
“It’s getting more and more difficult to find those people and retain them,” says Mike Jenner, plant manager at Laval Tool and mold maker of 34 years.
He’s nearing retirement and sees a gap with the next influx of skilled trade workers.
“It might be an education gap regarding how lucrative these trades can be,” Jenner says. “They’re normally well-paid jobs, they’re good hours and they’re respectable clean environments now.”