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National Skilled Trades and Technology Week Celebrates the History and Importance of the Skilled Trades in Canada

New Survey Shows Majority of Canadians (83%) feel Skilled Tradespeople are Important to their Everyday Lives

OTTAWA, Ontario – November 6, 2012 – Skills/Compétences Canada (SCC), a national not-for-profit organization that actively promotes careers in skilled trades and technology, today hosted the official launch of National Skilled Trades and Technology Week 2012 at an event held at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, in Gatineau, QC. The week-long event, which includes interactive student skills activities across the country hosted by Skills/Compétences Canada and its Member Organizations, highlights the shortage of skilled trade and technology workers and the tremendous career opportunities this presents for youth. 

The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, spoke at the event emphasizing the Government’s commitment to the skilled trades:

“It is more important than ever that youth gain the skills and experience needed to prepare for and succeed in the jobs of tomorrow. Through grants, tax credits, and support for training programs, our Government is encouraging apprenticeships and careers in the skilled trades and technology sectors.”

The theme of National Skilled Trades and Technology Week 2012 is focused on the history and importance of skilled trades in Canada, highlighting the important role of skilled tradespeople in building and shaping our country.

“Our country’s infrastructure was built by tradespeople and their importance is often overlooked as they are the enablers of many of the things we take for granted such as our reliance on electricity, communications networks, running water and transportation,” said Shaun Thorson, CEO, Skills/Compétences Canada. “Industries that depend on the skilled trades have become increasingly vital to Canada’s future economic stability and to its standing in the global marketplace. National Skilled Trades and Technology Week helps raise awareness of the career opportunities in the skilled trades, while recognizing industry needs and encouraging students to develop trade and technology skills.”

Industries that depend on the skilled trades have become increasingly vital to Canada’s future economic stability and to its standing in the global marketplace. According to the Conference Board of Canada, a shortage of more than one million skilled workers is forecasted by 2020, with an estimated 40% of all new jobs in the skilled trades and technology industries.

Skilled Tradespeople:  An Everyday Resource Canadians Can’t Manage Without

A new survey which was released today by Skills/Compétences Canada, conducted by Harris/Decima, illustrates the importance and extent to which Canadians rely on the skilled trades for some of their everyday activities. From ensuring that they have running water, that their car runs, that they can turn on the lights, and that they have a leak-free roof over their head, there are hundreds of skilled trade professions in Canada that touch on numerous sectors of the economy.

Almost all Canadians (98%) surveyed admit they have used a skilled tradesperson at least once in the last few months:

  • 72% say they have taken their vehicle in for maintenance or repair
  • 91% have gone out to eat at a restaurant
  • 69% have been to a hair salon, spa or barber

The survey was conducted by Harris/Decima via teleVox, the company’s telephone omnibus, from November 2nd to 4th, 2012.  A total of 1,003 Canadians were surveyed.  Results are considered accurate +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

 About Skills/Compétences Canada

Skills/Compétences Canada was founded in 1989 as a national, not-for-profit organization that works with employers, educators, labour groups and governments to promote skilled trades and technology careers among Canadian youth. Its unique position among private and public sector partners enables it to work toward securing Canada’s future skilled labour needs while helping young people and aspiring apprentices discover rewarding careers. Skills/Compétences Canada offers experiential learning opportunities including skilled trades and technology competitions for hundreds of thousands of young Canadians through regional, provincial/territorial, national and international events, as well as skilled trade awareness programs. Many programs highlight digital and essential skills, which are crucial qualifications in most careers of today.  Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Skills/Compétences Canada is the Canadian Member organization of WorldSkills International. For more information about Skills/Compétences Canada visit www.skillscanada.com, or call 877-754-5226.

Follow Skills/Compétences Canada on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr.



Note to Editors:  High resolution photos and videos are available upon request.

Media Contacts:

Caroline McGrath

CMM Communications Group (for Skills/Compétences Canada)

416 972-1642 or 416-357-2702


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