‘Future Building’, an interactive event ran this week at Mississauga’s International Centre and thousands of students from Grade 7 to 12 were bused in to learn more about the trades.
There is a huge shortage of people in the trades and fewer students than ever are considering them. This interactive expo went steps ahead by making it fun and educational with virtual reality simulators. Students could use a crane from three floors up, try out painting and welding as well as several other construction careers.
Getting more young people involved in the trades is important considering 87,000 of Ontario’s 500,000 construction workers are expected to retire by 2027, according to the OCS.
Students had the opportunity to speak with exhibitors to hear their real-life experiences.
Many South Asian immigrant parents look down upon the trades and steer their children into university instead, regardless of their interests or aptitude.
But while unemployment is a real and scary possibility for university graduates in most disciplines, it is rare to find an unemployed tradesperson.
What’s more it isn’t uncommon for a 24-year-old tradesperson to be earning $90K upward annually.A manager at home building store told this reporter just how hard it was to find someone with a trades background to be associates working at these stores. There is so much work out there that none would want to work at retail stores even for $20 an hour. On the other hand, most associates working at these retail stores are putting themselves through college and are using the wages earned to pay off their student loans.
More such interactive expos will spread awareness. And perhaps the next time there should be such an expo where parents are invited. After all the biggest hurdle faced in getting young people into the trades is parents who sometimes go out of their way to dissuade their children from pursuing the trades. – CINEWS