The federal government today launched an advertising campaign to promote the skilled trades as a strong first-choice career path for youth and young adults.
Ottawa is responding to recent projections which estimate about 700,000 skilled trades workers will retire between 2019 and 2028, creating a pressing need to recruit and train their replacements.
“Canada’s workforce needs more skilled trade workers. They have expertise and skills that are essential to our economy and our way of life. When Canadians are contemplating a new career, we want them to consider entering the skilled trades and to understand the exciting, well-paying opportunities that they present,” said Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough.
Also launched as part of this campaign is Canada.ca/skilled-trades, a website that offers a one-stop national repository for information about the skilled trades. The site will help young Canadians learn about the more than 300 skilled trades in Canada and the Red Seal trade designation. The site also highlights in-demand trades in each region and available financial support offered by the Government of Canada. The campaign will reach youth and young adults through popular social media platforms, websites, campus billboards, public transit and national broadcast media.
To further support more Canadians to join the skilled trades, Ottawa is investing nearly $1 billion annually in apprenticeship supports through grants, loans, tax credits, Employment Insurance benefits during in-school training, project funding, and support for the Red Seal Program, in addition to existing funding programs.
Announced in Budget 2019, the Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy is aimed at strengthening existing apprenticeship supports and programs by helping apprentices and key apprenticeship stakeholders, including employers, to participate and succeed in the skilled trades.
This campaign was developed with insights and contributions from the special advisors to Minister Qualtrough. The advisory committee was composed of:
- France Daviault, Executive Director of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum;
- Jamie McMillan, Founder of KickAss Careers and talented ironworker and boilermaker by trade;
- Mandy Rennehan, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Freshco; and
- Matt Wayland RSE, Executive Assistant to the International Vice-President and Canadian Director of Government Relations for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Canada.