Ontario Construction News staff writer
Every Ontario guidance counsellor office should have three display walls – one for universities, one for colleges and one for skilled trades, says a consortium of construction associations.
The group released a series of short video clips recently, highlighting trades careers and people in trades jobs. Participants talk about their jobs, benefits, salaries and other information specific to their jobs.
“On that third wall, the wall for the skilled trades, there should be a monitor so that young people can watch dozens of fantastic two-minute video profiles of people telling their stories about their construction careers on the Job Talks website,” says Richard Lyall, president of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), part of a coalition that commissioned the 50-part series.
“We need to get the message out that there are thousands of well-paid, rewarding jobs that will be available for young Ontarians in the coming decade.”
Construction research group BuildForce reported in its 2019 labour market forecast that more than 103,900 new workers will need to be recruited in Ontario over the coming decade because of the rising number of retirements and meeting peak demands – that’s for both residential, infrastructure and other construction sectors.
And while there is certain opportunity in the industry, the video series is not about the trades gap; it’s about job satisfaction.
“Our profiles feature young people who embrace construction for its highly satisfying careers and enjoy the challenges of problem-solving on the spot. I think our coalition has done an excellent job of conveying a new image of working in construction: a future of possibilities that are bright, exciting, secure and fulfilling,” Job Talks executive director Jon Callegher said in a press release.
One of the workers profiled is Larissa North, a bulldozer operator. (Find her profile here.)
“The fact that I get to be outdoors every day is really nice, but what I really like is that every day is different,” North said. “Some of the skills that make me a good bulldozer operator are that I’m detail oriented and I’m always asking questions about operating the machine and how roads are put together.”
Aside from RESCON, the coalition includes the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO); the Heavy Construction Association of Toronto; the Toronto Area Road Builders Association; the Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association; the Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance; the Ontario Residential Council of Construction Associations; and the Ontario Construction Careers Alliance.
“This was truly a collaborative industry effort,” says Andy Manahan, executive director of RCCAO. “It’s important that youth become informed about the exciting prospects in Ontario’s construction sector and that the trades become a top consideration in their career choices.”