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An old pro has some valuable advice for frustrated youths trying to break into the trades

"Try to get a position as anything in an institution or factory. A mine, steel mill, refinery, hospital, school board or prison are all good places to look. Good luck."


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July 5, 2018 by canadiancontractor

Frequent contributor, contractor Mark Mitchell posted this earlier this week, replying to a frustrated young man who was having a hard time translating his trades training into an apprenticeship.

I feel your pain brother, but don’t think us old guys had it easy, either. I couldn’t find a job in 1981: there was an economic slowdown like now. I joined the Canadian Armed Forces as a marine engineering mechanic, and scrubbed decks and polished brass for two years before I really started learning anything. I then later wrote my civilian Stationary Engineers ticket, studied at night for my gas licence, and went on to a refrigeration apprenticeship when I was 32.

It takes time and we all have to start at the bottom. You have a leg up on the competition, with some additional education in electrical, but you will still need to start at the bottom. My advice is to look outside of the construction field, and try to get a position as anything in an institution or factory, and work your way into an apprenticeship from there. A mine, steel mill, refinery, hospital, school board, prison, are all good places to look. Good luck.

Mark Mitchell


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canadiancontractor

Canadian Contractor is the independent voice of residential renovators and home builders everywhere in Canada.
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