Training & Education
Future Building 2014 will show rewarding careers in skilled trades
By Anthony Capkun
January 28, 2014 – It is not uncommon to feel that our children have been conditioned to believe that a university degree is the only path to a full and rewarding career. Thankfully, the biennial Ontario Construction Secretariat event Future Building aims to dispel that myth by spotlighting rewarding career options in the skilled trades.
“Over the past generation, there has been an emphasis on a university education as the only path to a good job,” said Sean Strickland, the secretariat’s CEO. “But there are other options out there. We have great needs in the construction trades, and they provide a very comfortable lifestyle with excellent wages, provide rewarding work and tangible results.”
CLICK HERE for EBMag’s VIDEO from the 2012 edition of Future Building, “School kids find out what goes on behind the walls”.
According to OCS, the next two decades will see a severe shortage of skilled workers in Ontario. The first wave of Baby Boomers are hitting retirement age and leaving jobs they have held for 40 or more years, but there are not enough young people coming through the system to fill those vacancies. The shortage could reach as high as 100,000 workers in just five years, “which means students who learn a trade have excellent prospects of quickly establishing themselves in a viable, sustainable and honourable career,” said Strickland.
And there is work to be done, adds OCS. Major projects like public transit across the Greater Toronto Area and central Ontario, mining facilities in Northern Ontario, infrastructure projects for the 2015 Pan Am Games and investments in energy infrastructure mean steady growth in construction and a need for skilled workers.
“A stable and growing labour force is one of the foundations of economic prosperity,” noted Strickland.
The 11th edition of Future Building—a three-day, hands-on construction career expo aimed at students from Grades 7 to 12—will take place April 8-10 at the Mainway Recreation Centre in Burlington, Ont.
Direct and in-kind involvement from the building trade unions and management representatives who work in Ontario’s unionized construction industry is a key part of Future Building, note organizers.