The federal government has created an advisory committee to help promote apprenticeships and skilled trades across Canada.
Founding members of the committee are Mandy Rennehan, founder and CEO of Freshco; Jamie McMillan, an ironworker and the founder of KickAss Careers; and Matt Wayland, executive assistant to the international vice-president and Canadian director of government relations for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Additional members will be announced in the near future.
The advisory committee will lay the groundwork for a national campaign to encourage apprenticeships and promote the skilled trades as a career of choice. The committee will also lead consultations, explore partnerships, and provide advice to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.
A press release from the Prime Minister’s Office points out that the government has already made investments to support skilled trades workers and to make sure people in under-represented groups have the opportunities they need to enter the trades. The establishment of an advisory committee builds on those measures, and is designed to help more young people pursue good, well-paying careers in the trades.
“Canadians count on tradespeople every day,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. “They power our industries, keep our vehicles and public transit moving, and build the places we call home. By promoting in‑demand careers in the trades, we can help more young people find good, well-paying jobs and build a stronger economy for the benefit of all Canadians.”
Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, said a national apprenticeship campaign will serve to encourage Canadians to enter the skilled trades.
“The skilled trades offer well-paying middle class jobs but many young people never consider this as a first choice career option,” she said.
In Budget 2019, the Government of Canada announced $6 million over two years to create a national campaign to promote skilled trades to young people.
Canada will need 67,000 new journeypersons to sustain our workforce in the 10 largest Red Seal trades by 2023.
Young women continue to be less likely than young men to express interest in a career in the skilled trades. According to an OECD survey, only 2 percent of 15-year-old female students were planning to pursue a career in the skilled trades.