A Skilled Trade is a career path that requires hands-on work and specialty knowledge. The knowledge needed in many of the skilled trades is extensive and is considered equivalent to a College or University degree.
The skilled trades offer students a variety of rewarding and lucrative career opportunities. With specialty training, hands-on work and jobs in high-demand, skilled trades give students a wide range of secure, high-paying and satisfying careers.
Skilled trades workers build and maintain infrastructure like our homes, schools, hospitals, roads, farms and parks. They keep industries running and perform many services we rely on every day, like hairstyling, food preparation or social services.
Jobs in the skilled trades are in high demand with paid placements as you learn skills on-the-job. Cutting-edge technology is used with great earning potential. Often Skilled Trades workers become business owners, inspectors, managers and supervisors.
There are many different pathways that can take you to the trades. Some students begin their training in high school by taking co-operative education or a Pathways Program such as an Ontario Youth Apprenticeship (OYAP) or Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) Program. Others ‘sign on’ right out of high school with a skilled journeyperson who helps support their pathway to their skilled trade of interest. Others take a pre-apprenticeship program at college to give them a chance to explore a trade and make connections to employers in the trades. There is no right or wrong way to get there!
Apprenticeship is a post-secondary education combining on-the-job training and in-class learning to teach skilled trades. An apprenticeship is a pathway to a rewarding career in the trades. As an apprentice, you learn your trade by working under the direction of experienced workers and get paid while you do it.
In the near future, one in five new jobs in Ontario is expected to be in trades-related occupations. With an aging workforce, employers are looking for skilled tradespeople who can help build and maintain our province and provide essential services.
It is expected that the Skilled Trade labour shortage will reach 1.2 million skilled labourers.
The skilled trades are broken down into 2 categories: Compulsory and Voluntary.
A trade in which registration as an apprentice, journeyperson candidate or certification as a journeyperson is mandatory. There are currently 23 skilled trades that are designated “compulsory”.
A trade in which certification and/or membership in the provincial regulatory body are not legally required to practice the trade.
There are more than 140 skilled trades in Ontario.
They fall under four sectors: construction, industrial, transportation and service.
There are a range of career opportunities, such as:
We will look into these further as we examine Skilled Trades Apprenticeships, Skilled Trade Colleges and Skilled Trade OYAP Programs.