Black & McDonald skilled trade employee helping at a cabling construction project

The trades: an exciting option for young people looking to start a career

When it comes to finding skilled trades workers, you may be surprised to find out just how much in demand they really are. With more than 60% of electricians, electrical repairers and plumbers over the age of 45, finding talent is harder than ever.

There are many reasons why there is a shortage of trades people. Whether due to  being perceived less favourably  by parents as a career option, or a lack of awareness by university-educated high school teachers that college is not the right choice for everyone, young people do not often consider the trades as a career option.

With a shortage of tradespeople looming on the horizon, here are few reasons why youth should seriously consider it:

  • Technology. Youngsters are not like previous generations. They are tech savvy in the way that they pursue technological solutions whenever possible. They think that trades work is stuck in the past. It may come as a surprise to them how often trades workers make use of sophisticated technology to do their everyday jobs.
  • Changing the world. One of the biggest concerns worldwide is climate change. Younger people want to be world changers, not just passively going through life. They don’t see how much the trades actually impact life. With hands-on work that affects the lives of thousands every day, trades people are important.
  • Salary. People who are considering careers do not want to head off in a direction where they will not be able to earn enough to take care of themselves and their loved ones. Trades work can be lucrative. For example, the average salary of a plumber in Ontario is approximately $34/hour. Many youth are unaware of this.
  • Automation. Some might say that robots will be taking over trades in the future and that trades are therefore not a good option. Aside from the fact that someone will need to fix the robots, many jobs can never be fully automated. Of course, this is not to say that some trades will not become obsolete, but this is where careful planning, diversifying skills and staying abreast of changes takes on extra importance.

These are just some of the many benefits of going into the trades. Youth are often led to believe that the trades are only an option for those not savvy enough to go to university or  make it in the real world. The truth of the situation is far different, and the skilled trades offer a stable, well-paid and satisfying career option.