Canadian Contractor

Obstacles to attracting young people to the trades…

"The Ontario College of Trades prevents a father from teaching his children the family trade," Mark Mitchell contends

March 11, 2016
By Steve Payne
Steve Payne

Here is a reply to John Bleasby’s post two days ago, “Generation Lost: Where are all the new skilled trades workers?”

This is from Ontario contractor Mark Mitchell…

“There are two huge obstacles in Ontario to attracting young people to the trades, and/or construction work. One is frost, which limits and dictates when work can start or proceed, which usually means construction workers face layoffs in winter, and long hours in the summer. Not what young people are looking for. The other is excessive regulation and government control. Allowing agencies like the Ontario College of Trades to prevent a father from teaching his children the family trade, and preventing anyone from being a helper for a few months without being a signed-up apprentice, have limited opportunities in all trades. Those that oppose this kind of government control over their lives (like me) have completely given up passing on their skills to the next generation.”


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10 Comments » for Obstacles to attracting young people to the trades…
  1. al joyce says:

    it doesn’t help when all of the schools in grey and Bruce don’t promote trades they don’t even have shop classes anymore .FOR SOME REASON IN OUR SCHOOLS IT IS COMPULSARY to take art class and music why don’t we add shops to that and you never know an artist might like welding ,for some reason there are no blue collar workers preaching enough about trades instead we have over priced lawyers and teachers who don’t or wont get their hands dirty .I am 51 years old have a plumbing and heating company and if or when I get a co-op student or apprentice they are so green some don’t even know what a red Robertson screw driver looks like. as far as the college of trades it is supposed to stop side jobs unlicensed tradesmen from doing any work but where I’m from it has tripled there is so many sides jobs and unlicensed guys that it has become a joke for a licensed guy to pay for protection that is not there . I was approached by a college of trade guy 3 months ago and he only came on the job site because of my van its like a billboard I told him he needs to follow the unmarked cars or trucks /vans with the pipe hanging out the back not the guys who are playing by the rules. We should form an alliance and not pay for our licensing and see if these people get off their asses and do their job .

  2. Questo says:

    For long time I have warning people special those on the compulsory trades, what the OCOT or college of trades would do, nothing but damage. Its more clear then ever, this was a scam for tax purposes on the trades people, and destroy them in the process.

    The college of trades should change their purpose, OCOT, to Ontario Control Over Toilets. At least control the sanitation over the construction portable toilets also high rise buildings, and leave the trades people alone, that maybe more use full for them, maybe less hate full from the trades people towards them.

    Compulsory trades people don’t need their protection, also the certified electricians don’t need the ecra too.
    This is all a fraud, mob rule, and extortion. There are many ways trades people can use their work in protection matters and their responsibilities too..
    Remember ESA inspectors aren’t liable for their electrical inspections, always fails on the certified electricians, so what is the really need for them? Its another money collection agency, nothing more.

  3. Derek says:

    I think there are plenty of kids/young adults who would like to enter the trades, but in my personal experience, I have found that in a small town where the average company only has 3-4 employees it’s next to impossible to find someone to take you on as an apprentice. The current apprentice ratios make it impossible for most young people to get hired as an apprentice. I’m speaking from experience, I ended up going to college to be a gas fitter because where I live apprenticeships are given to friends of people who work at eligible companies. I have been working now for 6 years with a company waiting for an apprenticeship in air conditioning, but the ratio of 3 to 1 has prevented that from happening. I guess for now I continue working illegally all summer, and wait for the current 1st year apprentice of 6 years to actually go to school and finish his trade

  4. Gail, Skylight to Floor Inc says:

    “Allowing agencies like the Ontario College of Trades to prevent a father from teaching his children the family trade…”

    Unless the walls have ears and the OCT has a spy in every home, I think that is a tad paranoid. Not to mention, it might be a mother teaching her children.

    • Mark Mitchell says:

      The walls don’t have ears, but every workplace in Ont does. TSSA started this crap, and no one said anything. My son can’t thread or handle gas pipe without a Gas 3 ticket, even if I’m right beside him the whole time. Now OCOT is doing the same-an electricians’ son is unable to do anything but carry tools unless he is a signed up apprentice. Now OCOT is coming after the carpenters, drywallers and resilient flooring contractors. Will that be enough to get all contractors and construction workers to band together and say “enough is enough”?
      And by the way-a mother can teach her children anything she wants, as long as its not hairdressing, as that is a compulsory trade here too, and her child would have to pay OCOT before starting their apprenticeship

  5. PETER LAZAROU says:

    i agree contractors who have childern should be allow to employ them & train at a young age starting at 16 years of age with out an apprentice ship as colleges of trades only allows so many apprentices & contractor may have his compliment.
    i had my son at a young age working for me and he became a journey & now a teacher of the electrical trade.

  6. james says:

    Why is it that being in business for over 20 yrs the government feel that I’m not qualified to train young people as an apprentice?
    no access to government apprentice programs.
    the city passes my work on a continual basis, so if the city is happy with my understanding of building practices, why isn’t the federal government.
    I get to pay their wsib, soon their college of trades fees

  7. Bob says:

    Hi James, the only free qualifications apparently are politicians, masters of illusion, no fees any kind to be in this field, no liability insurance apparently, no WSIB etc.

    Have you notice politicians don’t need specific degrees, certifications, diplomas, not even training etc . Nor they pay any side agencies for their political work. They get minim hours of work, high pay plus personal expenses. Just to screw things up, not bad at all. Where is their liabilities? I forget, they have the agency called, SORRY, when they screw up by the billions.

    They love to pass laws, without any knowledge of it, without any clue the future damage that will cause, if pass as a bill, legislation, bylaws, for them should be good, then be came in-force able. Their laws are like a virus, affecting everyone.

    No law should stand if enter into a damage field, a barrier, discrimination, infringing free will, violating privacy, free choice, a pay fee to operate a trade and so on. Trade peoples, aren’t a privilege class, its a choice of qualification work, so training is needed more then regular training. Its a high response ability, nothing more.

    Like you mention, any construction work done, pass locally under the building code, why all other parasites want their shares? Looks like the sixties and seventies all over again, inspectors all over the place, soon will not be enough workers. To many trades people are leaving their trade, and new young ones don’t want to be in it, they aren’t stupid, for the new cycle of slavery with a seal of democracy.

  8. Questo says:

    Have the Ontario government politicians read this international human rights code? What about the OCOT and other trades agencies money collectors?, Like for a price you can be licence to work, on the trades, austerity system. The trades people became under hostage, not freely to operate, and need to pay private none profit agencies in order to work. An international human rights violation, apparently.

    This country is an immigrates land, or generations of, so what is below applies. If the Canadian human rights code dissolves in thin air, and just there for face expression.

    Please read these articles down below, and see for your self.

    Article 1.
    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

    Article 2.
    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

    Article 3.
    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

    Article 4.
    No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

    Article 5.
    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

    Article 6.
    Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

    Article 7.
    All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

    Article 8.
    Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

    Article 9.
    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

    Article 10.
    Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

    Article 11.
    (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
    (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

    Article 12.
    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

    Article 13.
    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
    (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

    Article 14.
    (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
    (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

    Article 15.
    (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

    Article 16.
    (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
    (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
    (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

    Article 17.
    (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

    Article 18.
    Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

    Article 19.
    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    Article 20.
    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
    (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

    Article 21.
    (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
    (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
    (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

    Article 22.
    Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

    Article 23.
    (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
    (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
    (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
    (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

    Article 24.
    Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

    Article 25.
    (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
    (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

    Article 26.
    (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
    (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
    (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

    Article 27.
    (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
    (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

    Article 28.
    Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

    Article 29.
    (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
    (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
    (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

    Article 30.
    Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

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