TIMMINS, ON: In partnership with the School College Work Initiative (SCWI) and the Far Northeast Training Board (FNETB), Northern College is preparing to host the Go to College Trades and Technology Symposium on Monday, April 8, 2013, in an effort to educate and cultivate a new generation of skilled tradespeople in Ontario. Special guest Mike Holmes, Canada’s Most Trusted Contractor and host of Holmes Makes it Right on HGTV, will address attendees and discuss how youth can attain successful and rewarding careers in skilled trades, especially in light of Ontario’s labour shortage.
Students in the SCWI catchment area in grades 10-12, throughout Timiskaming and Cochrane regions will be attending, along with high school staff, industry and community representatives. Local industry partners will be available to discuss the current and projected shortage of skilled tradespeople and highlight the opportunities and benefits of a career in trades and technology. The symposium will include hands-on tours of shops and labs in a variety of technology disciplines and will end with a keynote address from Mike Holmes.
A major barrier that daunts and will continue to impede a robust economy and sustained growth is the shortage of technicians and technologists who are vital to the recovery of the manufacturing sector and growth in the resource sector. A Conference Board of Canada report alone predicts Ontario will face a shortage of more than 360,000 workers by 2025 – less than 12 years from now.
This labour shortage is of immediate concern and requires a strategic, concerted and coordinated effort to protect the well-being of local industry and our community. The demographic distribution of Canada’s population means that baby boomers are retiring en masse while the number of young people entering the workforce is already in decline. Ontario’s workforce is shrinking from both ends of the age spectrum.
“We must inform our younger citizens of the incredible career opportunities in our region and across the country,” said Fred Gibbons, Northern College President. “Through this symposium, Northern College is creating a platform where our youth are encouraged and empowered to make vocational and educational choices that will lead to viable, well paying skilled trades careers.”
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