Canadian Contractor


Skills Ontario debunks myths about skilled trades

Canadian Contractor

Careers in trades, technology should be viewed as a viable first option for young people

The following press release is from Skills Ontario

Outdated misconceptions about working in the skilled trades and technology fields are a significant obstacle Ontario must overcome to address a serious labour shortage that is projected to worsen over the next decade.

Over the past 30 years, Skills Ontario has developed a growing portfolio of programs and initiatives – such as hosting Canada’s largest skilled trades and technologies competition – 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.

“Jobs in the trades and technologies sector offer high pay, good benefits, flexibility, rewarding work, variety and unlimited opportunity,” says Skills Ontario CEO Ian Howcroft. “We need to set the record straight about these positions so that they are viewed as a first option for those preparing to enter the workforce.”


There continue to be misperceptions and inaccurate generalizations about working in the skilled trades and technologies in some circles. Among them:

Myth 1: The skilled trades are primarily for people who can’t make it into university or have limited education.

Reality: Careers in skilled trades and technology require critical thinking skills and a solid education. Most positions demand a combination of hands-on work and specialty training, which may include post-secondary education and learning on the job through apprenticeships.

Myth 2: Jobs in the trades are dirty and physically demanding.

Reality: It’s true that many positions in the trades have some element of hands-on work, but technological innovations in recent years have radically transformed how many tasks are performed, making them cleaner and less physically intensive.

Myth 3: Once you take up a trade, you’ll be stuck doing the same job the rest of your career.

Reality: There are abundant opportunities to move up the ladder in the skilled trades and technology fields. Apprenticeship training, additional certification courses and other professional development activities open the door to new responsibilities and career options. Many decide to start their own business and hire other tradespeople.

Myth 4: These jobs aren’t suited to women.

Reality: There are many opportunities for women in the skilled trades and technology fields, offering high pay, advancement and challenging opportunities. Skills Ontario and its partners have been encouraging more young women to explore these positions through initiatives such as Young Women’s Career Exploration Events throughout the year, plus a Young Women’s Conference every year at the Skills Ontario Competition. We need to do more to introduce these opportunities to girls and young women and facilitate them moving forward.

Myth 5: You can’t earn a good living in the trades.

Reality: Skilled professionals in Ontario make highly competitive salaries, including opportunities to earn while learning through apprenticeships. Because there is a severe shortage of skilled trade and tech workers across the province, there are plenty of job opportunities in many sectors that pay very well!


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2 Comments » for Skills Ontario debunks myths about skilled trades
  1. Questo says:

    Dear, Skills Ontario CEO Ian Howcroft,


    You forget the biggest reality of all or was it intended to be concealed?

    The bogus agencies and bogus licenses/bogus permits on the trades people to operate their carries.

    So you know that for sure, but rather not saying, right? Convenient ins’t it?

    The biggest reality in the skills trades in Ontario are: Too many none for profit organizations acting as salesman of trades licenses. Can be compared with maggots on decaying corpses.

    They love to be in control of someone’s legal trade license, making that look like not legit. Make trades people looking like criminals to operate.

    You either buy our so called license or face demise. The MTCU license is the one (that has) international value. All others are nothing but legalized robbery, extortion, coercion, cunning.

    It’s a shameful collection services.

    It’s a fundamental human rights violation. Free to operate on his/her carries without any form of extortion barriers.

    No matter if legislation was passed to obtain the coercive license in exchange for a payment. It became unlawful from the start. Unless it was on the free voluntary vote for the benefit of the trades, whatever skills direction. When and where did these votes take place?

    The Ontario trades people became specific targets, for extortion (discrimination on a specific trade’s skills for extortion).

    That’s the reality.

    Furthermore, coercive licenses are direct intimidation, a threat, unlawful, posed as real. Can be viewed as fraud or criminal intent to obtain funds with unnecessary oversight. Using none for profit organizations as the scape goat (SCAMS).

    And after you have all these bogus licenses, you still have to apply for permits.

    What should the point be in the trades?

    Take your so called licenses, from ESA/ECRA, (LEC) TSAA, OCOT and all others, go to Europe and other countries. Show these licenses to apply for your job carrier? See if you obtain any credit for them to work? All these licenses will be thrown into the trashcan, so much value, huh?

    If you show the MTCU certificate and license then you can work. Can you see the difference?

    When all the garbage coercive licenses and permits, to operate, are thrown into the garbage can where they belong, then Ontario may indeed have a big flow on the trades people.

    The dignity they all deserve.

  2. Peter Jerva says:

    I have worked in the communications field (Cable TV, Telco, security, PA, Data, etc.) for 40 years. For 30 years I have run our own business with much of it involving work in institutional and commercial environments. The women who have and do work for us have been as capable and in almost every instance more capable than their male counterparts. As a whole I find that young people are far less capable to work with their hands using basic hand tools.

    I truly miss the days of “Industrial Arts” classes in elementary school and the lack of “Shop classes” in secondary schools. I believe that the perception that these programs are not good enough for some youth has left us with many young people that do not know how to use basic tools like screwdrivers and pliers to the point where tightening up a cupboard door requires the help of a “handyperson.”

    I believe that the lack of exposure to some “skilled trade” basics has some amazingly talented youth without the guidance to develop a rewarding career in many trades.

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