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News   October 11, 2013   by Auto Service World

What Youth Think About the Skilled Trades

The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum – Forum canadien sur l’apprentissage (CAF-FCA) provides fresh insights into the way youth across Canada perceive the skilled trades in its latest report,Apprenticeship Analysis: Youth Perceptions of Careers in the Skilled Trades.

The current skilled trade shortage, combined with the demographic crunch as baby boomers retire, has raised expectations around recruiting the next generation. A key element to attracting young people to this sector is understanding how their perceptions and attitudes about a career in the skilled trades affects their career decisions.

In this report, CAF-FCA documents the findings of a national survey with more than 800 students across Canada in spring 2013, and compares the results to findings from a parallel investigation in 2004.

“CAF-FCA members have placed a high priority on raising awareness among young people about apprenticeship, trade certification and career opportunities in the skilled trades.  Apprenticeship remains a first-choice solution to addressing skills shortages,” said Sarah Watts-Rynard, executive director of CAF-FCA.  “Over the last decade, the apprenticeship community has expended tremendous resources on this effort.  Gauging how youth perceive the trades today tells us where we’ve seen successes and provides a roadmap to inform future initiatives.”

Survey results indicate youth are more open to considering a skilled trade career than they were in past, are more aware of career options, and have better access to information and value the contribution of tradespeople.

“We can definitely see improvement in youth awareness and attitudes,” Watts-Rynard said.  “At the same time, we’re seeing the need for stronger messages around opportunities for women and better outreach to parents and others who provide career direction to students.”

A live web event to discuss survey results will be held on November 7 at 1pm ET for CAF-FCA members.  Read the full report at   

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