According to a recent poll, 95 percent of Ontario parents are supportive of their children working in a trade-related profession, yet many are not talking about it.
A 2016 Ipsos Reid poll showed that working in the skilled trades rated favourably among Ontario parents, placing it slightly ahead of both the financial and service industries. However, despite this approval, results showed only 38 percent of parents have talked to their children about apprenticeship opportunities and a future career in the skilled trades.
“With a looming skilled workforce shortage, parents should be discussing the unlimited career possibilities in the trades,” advises David Tsubouchi, the Ontario College of Trades' CEO. “It's important they let kids know an apprenticeship is a great way to earn money while learning a trade and working towards a rewarding and in-demand career.”
“The promotion of trades as a viable career has to be supported everywhere possible,” says David Cameron, a welder and learning and development team leader at ArcelorMittal Dofasco. “That message has to get to students and their parents, teachers and guidance counselors.”
To help set your child up for a rewarding career in the skilled trades, work together to choose courses based on their educational goals and interests. Discuss specific trades professions and identify the compulsory courses required. For instance, many apprenticeship and college trades programs require Grade 12 math, physics and/or chemistry to apply. Once your child has settled on a career path, ensure they complete the prerequisites for each course.
To help parents and children interested in apprenticeship opportunities learn more, the College has a youth-focused website, earnwhileyoulearn.ca, featuring videos and information about the many benefits of apprenticeships and careers in skilled trades.