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Attracting the Young to Skilled Trades

July 13 2022 - 96 per cent of Canadians feel that the country needs more skilled trades workers, according to the annual 3M State of Science Index. Over 90% believe there is a lot of opportunity in skilled trades and that incomes are as as good as those from occupations requiring college or university degrees.

But 76% of surveyed Canadians said they wouldn't pursue a skilled trade for themselves. The top reason being that they had 'other passions they wanted to pursue for a career.'

So people think highly of skilled trades workers but are not inspired to join those professions. Perceptions of trades and technical programs need to change. There is a need for Canadian organizations to champion skilled trades and do more to increase knowledge about available career pathways to young people. This includes removing barriers to those pathways and ensuring that the right educational resources reach Canada's youth.

Terry Bowman, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Leader at 3M Canada commented:

"Getting Canada's youth excited about skilled trades will be critical to ensuring a robust and healthy economy as we emerge from the impact of the global pandemic. It is imperative Canadian organizations provide equitable access to STEM education to passionate young Canadians interested in pursuing a skilled trade. With over 900 skilled workers at 3M Canada, we recognize the importance of skilled trades to Canada's economy and are fully committed to supporting the next generation of skilled workers."

3M hass committed to supporting and raising awareness of skilled trades by creating (by 2025) five million unique STEM and skilled trades learning experiences focused on underrepresented individuals.

Ian Howcroft, CEO, Skills Ontario said:

"The shortage of skilled professionals in Canada is daunting - misconceptions and lack of awareness surrounding these careers makes it difficult to fill the gaps, but it is important now more than ever that we encourage and support Ontarians pursuing these fields, For over 30 years,

"Skills Ontario has developed a growing portfolio of programs and initiatives to help students of all ages and backgrounds understand that they can find fulfilling career paths in the skilled trades and technologies. We also provide them, their parents, and their educators information on informative, skill-building programs and work-experience opportunities that can help them pursue these positions. The shortage is a challenge, but it is one we are addressing every day."

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