More Youth Considering a Skilled Trades Career

According to a study from the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF), more youth today are actually interested in obtaining a career in the skilled trades than they were in 2004.

The executive director, Sarah Watts-Rynard of the CAF said:

“That’s good and it does indicate that messages are getting through about opportunity and good pay”

“That means that the skilled trades community is providing better information than we have in the past.”

The same body who curated this report, CAF, will also be hosting its Skilled Trades Summit 2014 in Ottawa during the weekend of June 1-3. This entire summit will focus on how to attract more youth to a career in the Skilled Trades. To learn more about this summit, you can follow it by clicking here. You can keep up to date with Keynote Speakers, Exhibitors, Partners and the overall Program. All of this will be released soon!

Stay tuned, The Talent Group Canada will do our best to bring you more information on the Skilled Trades Summit 2014 in the months to come.


Energy Development – The answer to First Nation’s unemployment?

Despite of all the bickering that’s been going on about oil and gas activity, Odds-are that the First Nation could be the top beneficiaries of energy development.


In Canada, there are 600 major projects worth about 650 billion dollars. This means that First Nation could not only have more jobs but would also give them business opportunities and would change their current living situation.


According to studies, the average unemployment in  First Nation communities is currently rated at 23% in the communities that are targeted for oil and gas development. The resistance to energy development has been the the highest in British Columbia, where the unemployment rate is an average of  33%.


There are 7 major new projects in development within B.C. that would be benefit 56 out of the 198 First Nation provinces; 5 projects in Alberta that would benefit 20 out of 45 and 2 projects in Saskatchewan that would impact at least one First Nation community.


Even with this promising future for the First Nation communities, there are still some issues to be resolved. One of them being the lack of education within communities related to the jobs that would be created from theses projects.


The study says : “Ongoing communication and acceptance that there will be discussion, a commitment to the engagement process, ensuring communities are ready to capture opportunities, flexibility and, most importantly, developing an understanding of First Nations communities.”


The biggest risk to energy projects in Canada today is not to be able to obtain the social licence to proceed, but obtaining First Nation approval. While challenging, it’s the first time that we see so much motivation on the part of the government and industry to find a common ground with the First Nation’s people.


Are you skilled enough to succeed in Skilled trade and Technology?


The week of Nov. 4 to Nov. 10 was National Skilled trade and Technology week. Set in motion by Skills/competences Canada, this project occurs every year to raise awareness on different aspects of skilled trades and technology careers.


This year’s theme was ‘Essential Skills’.  Theses skills are set through extensive research by Employment and Social Development Canada  to ensure that future employees have the right skills to perform in the workplace.


Employers and postsecondary institutions are noticing a lot of misconceptions among students and guidance counsellors. Students will drop the foundational courses such as math, science, etc., when aiming for a Skilled trade career. This raises a lot of concerns since most of these classes are primordial for most of the Skilled trade and Technology jobs.


Shaun Thorson, CEO of Skills/Compétences Canada said: “Our industry partners in energy, natural resources, construction, manufacturing and services sectors are reporting that too many young workers are showing up at the job site without the proficiency of skills that is required to complete the work.”


It is important to educate ourselves about the path to choose to achieve our goals. For more information on how to get ready for your dream career, check out the Skills/Compétences Canada website today.




A New Campaign is Telling All, “Train N Trades”

Train N Trades has got high school students and their parents thinking about the future of Skilled Trades. Not only the trades themselves, but the career options that exist for the graduating classes for years to come.

As we all know the predicted number of vacant jobs in the skilled trades is said to be approximately one million by the year 2020. Therefore, going directly to the students who are deciding their future occupations is a great way to potentially evade or remove this potential workforce pandemic.

With all of this being said, approximately 35 percent of Canada’s blue collar workforce will be hanging up their hats within the next 5-10 years. This percentile representing hundreds of thousands of jobs. At this rate, there needs to be action in order to fill these jobs through educating the youth of today.

According to the article put out by, the pre-apprenticeship programs that took place, all of them had a placement rate of 100% upon completion of the program.

Its safe to say that the Job Security of tomorrow lies within the Skilled Trades.


Quite Possibly the Best Interview Tips Ever

The following just may be today’s top 5 “interview tips”. If they are not, they are considerably some of the best tips one could share.


1. Dress for Success – Although some may say different, at times the initial vibe of the interview could be set by the first impression. Be sure to wear your best to your interview, you can never be overdressed.


2. Body Language – Pay close to attention to your body. Considering 80% of communication in person is demonstrated through body language, your interviewer can easily tell if you’re nervous or stressed.


3. Be Conscious of Space – Make sure that your leaving enough space between you and the interviewer. Nothing can turn away a potential job than unconsciously intimidating your interviewer. Keep at least 3-4 feet distance between you and the interviewer.


4. Stay Winterfresh – Regardless of your bad habits, try not to overindulge the five minutes leading up to your interview. Whether its garlicky food, cigarette breath or a “late last night”, pay attention as something like this could be a dealbreaker for some interviewers.


5. Don’t Answer That Phone! – Seriously, why would you? For some people this is common sense, for others, its not. Not only is this disrespectful, to some it may be a clear visualization of your priorities.


We are certain that there are more tips that exist, but one thing that needs to remain at the top of your mind is perception. Regardless of the “tip” you need to stay mindful that an individual (your interviewer) always has a different perspective. For example, a person who smokes cigarettes may be more forgiving if someone reeks of smoke, or may not notice it at all. However, a non-smoker may be pick up on this and become discouraged and could throw off the whole interview.


Women. The Key to the Skilled Trades Gap

In mid-June, Metro News reported on Susan Truppe, Parliamentary Secretary’s speaking engagement at Algonquin College. She discussed the key in the Federal Government’s solution to close the skilled trades gap outlined in the most recent budget; young women.

“Young women are the key to the Canada’s skilled trades gap.”

“We’re going across Canada to hear from some of the stakeholders involved with skilled trades in order to get more women into non-traditional occupations,” Truppe said.

According to Kelowna Daily, by the year 2020 the government expects for there to be a total of one million job openings in the skilled trades.

The key goal is getting young girls to imagine themselves as a person in the skilled trades. Vicky Georgantopoulos is a great example, here is what she had to say, “A lot of women don’t really know what the trades are really about.”

Vicky also continued to explain that currently the trades are seen as a male’s job, however, with time this perception is changing. This opportunity was brought forth to Vicky through a friend; the Canadian Government is increasing the funding for women in skilled trades by providing a variety of grants.

The Talent Group supports women in the skilled trades. If you are woman looking for help in finding a job in the skilled trades, feel free to reach out to The Talent Group today to see how we can help.


[Source: Metro News]

FIFO (fly-in-fly-out) Jobs – The Benefits for Employers

As the shortage of skilled trades professionals continues to prove problematic for Canadian employers, a variety of solutions is being sought, incorporating both short and long term options.

Earlier this year Canadian Business magazine forecast a shortage of between 22,000 to 32,000 skilled workers in Northern British Columbia alone and the province last year announced the BC Jobs Plan which aims to attract more skilled workers into the region.

While this is a long-term plan which is already showing signs of success, short-term issues require attention. One of the potential solutions already adopted by some Canadian employers is the use of FIFO (fly-in-fly out) workers to resolve short term gaps in the labor market.  In Australia for example, FIFO workers comprise over 40% of the workforce in some mining companies.

While the employment of FIFO workers has been traditionally associated with the mining, oil and gas sectors, other sectors affected by the shortfall in skilled workers, such as food and manufacturing, will derive several benefits:-

Advantages of a FIFO Workforce

  • Companies can forecast and manage overheads more effectively, recruiting workers into the roles where and when the need is most acute.
  • Seasonal peaks and troughs in recruitment are managed appropriately.
  • FIFO workers are ideal for remotely based projects where long-term relocation would not be a viable option due to living conditions.
  • Temporary infrastructure costs, such as housing, are minimized through the use of FIFO workers.
  • Experienced FIFO workers will be familiar with the nature of the lifestyle and able to quickly adapt to their new environment.
  • Skilled workers in FIFO jobs are more focused on their environment.
  • On project completion, FIFO workers can be transferred to other skilled jobs, reducing the potential oversupply of workers.
  • FIFO workers are fully trained and qualified skilled workers, leading to a reduction in company training costs.
  • For employers deterred by FIFO workers due to the legal requirements and potential learning curve, a reputable staffing vendor is a further cost effective option. By outsourcing the whole process to a specialist company, the employer can focus on growing the business.


Responsibilities of the Employer

While FIFO workers are on site, the employer is responsible for the provision of suitable accommodation, recreational and catering facilities.


Issues to Consider

The allure of FIFO roles for employees is predominantly the typical higher salaries on offer, coupled with a flexible lifestyle.

Due to the nature of that lifestyle, however, concern has been expressed over the long-term physical and psychological effects on both the employee and their families. In particular, Safety Solutions, Australia has identified concerns over the impact on sleeping patterns and poor sleep quality, together with the lack of recreational facilities and poor nutritional options.

Employers can play their part in attracting more skilled trades workers into the FIFO sector by improving accommodation standards and providing reliable online facilities coupled with options such as Skype for regular contact with families back home.  In addition, improved health and lifestyle initiatives and flexible rosters have been recommended.

When managed properly, the employment of FIFO workers into skilled trades positions can form part of a long-term recruitment strategy, particularly in the light of the skills shortage affecting the Canadian economy.


Inter Provincial Relocation: Why Working With A Reputable Staffing Vendor Gives Candidates the Edge

The result ofCanada’s 2011 population census, published in February of this year, revealed that an increasing number ofCanada’s workforce is migrating from east to west in search of employment.

While the skills shortage affecting Canada’s economy is widely reported, it is acutely felt in the western provinces. A dearth of skilled trades’ professionals already exists across cities such as Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon. Furthermore, the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada has forecast a skills gap of 9,000 workers by 2015 in the oil and gas sector, which may reach a gap of 100,000 skilled workers in the next eight years.

As the eastern economies falter, interprovincial relocation is on the increase. The latest figures reported by Statistics Canada reveal a population increase in Alberta alone of 29,100 (+0.8%) in the first quarter of 2012. Interprovincial relocation accounts for almost half of this figure, primarily from the provinces of Labrador and Newfoundland and Ontario. Figures across western provinces echo this trend.

While employment opportunities are undoubtedly available, the prospect of finding a suitable role is a daunting task for many eastern Canadians.

One solution for skilled trades’ professionals in search of suitable employment is to work with a reputable staffing vendor who can offer:-

  • Advice on the types of positions available, ranging from heavy equipment mechanics and Class 1 and 3 drivers to engineers, project managers, laborers and so on.
  • Guidance on appropriate training opportunities where skills need updating.
  • Up-to-date advice on regions specifically affected by the skills shortage and the types of positions available, whether permanent, project or seasonal.
  • Guidance on salary expectations and, equally importantly, the cost of living in the area, including advice on accommodation and schooling where relevant.
  • A one step in-depth interview process for access to the vacancies available through that staffing vendor.  This will negate the need for candidates to apply individually to potential employers. Rather than completing copious application forms, a reputable staffing vendor will take the time to assess an applicant’s aspirations and skillsets.
  • Advice on how to handle the interview process and offer support throughout, including follow-up after the interview.
  • Advice on the potential employer’s background and company culture.
  • Guidance through the salary negotiation process on behalf of a candidate.


Knowing which company to work with can be as daunting as the prospect of the job hunt itself.  For candidates unsure of where to start, the best staffing vendors will:-

  • Possess a track record in the technical and trades sectors covering industries such as mining, oil and gas, logistics and transportation or food and manufacturing.
  • Treat all applicants with respect and honesty and have an ethical reputation amongst both candidates and employers within its sector, understanding that its success depends on excellent relationships with both.
  • Network continually within the sector so they understand the issues faced by candidates in the interprovincial relocation process.
  • Be able to provide guidance on relocation and put candidates in touch with relevant official resources when appropriate.
  • Ideally focus solely on the recruitment of Canadian candidates.

When managed properly, interprovincial relocation can offer the best solution for Canadian workers in search of employment. By working with a reputable staffing vendor, skilled workers can be confident that they are being presented with the opportunities which most closely match both their qualifications and career aspirations.

Skilled Trade License Fees Stir Up Discussion

Licensing fees imposed by the newly created Ontario College of Trades sparked some lively discussion during last week’s Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce meeting.

The new fees apply to apprentices in many construction, industrial and service industries. Critics have argued the fees could discourage young Canadians from pursuing a career in the skilled trades.

Presenter Pat Horgan, chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, addressed Canada’s skilled labour gap. Horgan, who is also vice president of manufacturing, development and operations for IBM Canada, said the skills gap was the biggest issue uncovered during a series of business roundtables held last year. Horgan said a skilled labour force, improved immigration stategies and education are keys to ensure job seekers have the tools employers need.

“Across the country we’ve identified Canada’s human resources crisis as our top priority,” Horgan said.
Following the presentation, Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce executive director Dave Cage asked Horgan for the Canadian chamber’s position on the Ontario College of Trades, which now regulates apprenticeship programs and issues certificates of qualification for skilled trade workers.

Cage has heard from some Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce members who have experienced licensing fee increases of up to 600 per cent.

“It seems like governments aren’t getting the message across that maybe the timing is really bad for these fee increases,” Cage said. In response, Horgan said he wasn’t familiar with the college’s fees, but promised to discuss the issue with his chamber colleagues. “I’ll take it on and make sure that the Canadian chamber goes back to Ontario if they’ve been raising licensing fees for trades,” Horgan said.

Joe Kubes, president of Kubes Steel in Stoney Creek, is opposed to the higher fees. While the new regulatory body won’t directly affect his company’s bottom line, Kubes fears higher fees will deter new apprenticeships.

“For my employees, they are the ones who are affected,” said Kubes. “It’s a shame that they do that. We’re trying to encourage trades, yet we’re charging them all these licensing fees. It’s one more thing that may deter a young person from coming into a trade.”

The Hamilton-Halton Home Builders’ Association and Ontario Home Builders’ Association have opposed the college of trades since its creation, arguing the college fails to realize the residential construction industry’s potential to modernize Ontario’s apprenticeship system. Both organizations have called upon the government to scrap the college.

“The college of trades will not solve the growing skills trade gap in Ontario,” said Eric DenOuden, first vice president of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association in a news release. “The current structure does not take advantage of the potential and opportunities the residential construction sector can provide in growing Ontario’s economy and building a skilled trades’ workforce.”

The Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario has defended the college of trades, arguing the college will improve worker standards and strengthen consumer protection. The organization has also dismissed the claim that the new fees constitute a Liberal government tax grab.

“Calling a membership fee a ‘tax grab’ is intentionally misleading; membership fees will apply to members of the college, not taxpayers,” stated Bill Nicholls, president of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario in a news release. Nicholls’ organization represents 150,000 trades workers across the province.

When the college is fully operational, it will regulate journeypersons, apprentices, and employers.

Membership in the college is required for any individuals wishing to engage in apprenticeship programs or hold certificates of qualification. Practicing in a compulsory trade requires membership in the college. Individuals working in voluntary trades can choose to become college members.


Skilled trades’ apprenticeship program continues to skyrocket!

More schools and more students in New Brunswick are getting onboard with a pilot program that highlights in-demand skilled trades.


The New Brunswick Teen Apprentice Program started last year as a three-year pilot project aimed at giving high school students a head start on skilled trades-related apprenticeships.

The pilot involved six students from Simonds High School who began their internships last summer in a machine shop at the Irving Oil Refinery.


The N.B. TAP starts in Grade 10. By the time students graduate, they’ll have enough hours to challenge Block 1 of their trade, the first requirement of their apprenticeship.


The program also gives students the chance to earn income on the job.
Irving Oil is one of about 20 companies that have signed on. At the Saint John refinery alone there are 700 trades people.


Simonds High Principal Gary Keating jumped at the opportunity to pilot the apprentice program.


Thousands of trades people in New Brunswick are set to retire in the next decade and Keating said his school can help fill the void with interested students.


“We were able to keep our carpentry shop, our metal fab shop and those classes are full every year,” he said.


Keating said it’s important for high schools to present all option to students.


“I personally don’t think it’s the job of the high schools to encourage or discourage students from what career path they want to go, students have dreams, they have goals and we should encourage those,” he said.


The Teen Apprentice Program is now taking on 30-students from southern New Brunswick.


Michael Atkinson, president of the Canadian Construction Association told CBC News earlier this year, that by 2020, Canada will need an additional 320,000 skilled construction workers.


The oil and gas industry alone estimates it will be short 5,000 skilled workers over the next three years, and will need hundreds of thousands over the next two decades.


The need for skilled trades people is particularly acute in places such as Alberta, where jobs for welders and pipefitters are in high demand.

It’s estimated the province will need 115,000 additional workers in skilled trades over the next 10 years.