Careers in the skilled trades are booming.

Stats Canada has estimated that one million skilled trade workers will be needed by the year 2025. This will be the largest sector for employment in the near future. 

Plumbers, electricians, millwrights, cabinetmakers, mechanics…these are the careers that most people think about when they hear about the trades. But being a cook, hair stylist, arborist, landscaper or child and youth worker also requires a particular set of skills and expertise. These are just some of the 144 apprenticeable trades in Ontario.

What they all have in common is that they are high-paying, rewarding and in demand in today’s workforce.

There are many different pathways that can take you to the trades. Some students begin their training in high school by taking co-operative education and participating in  experiential learning programs such as the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), Dual Credits or Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) programs. 

Students in Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) high schools can explore the skilled trades, as well as other career options, through the Pathways to Success education and career planning programs. Guidance Counsellors work with students to help them identify post-secondary career and learning options that match their interests and abilities.

The WRDSB is also pleased to be part of a special online event on Wednesday, October 27, starting at 6:30 pm. Explore Your Future: Pathways to the Trades is a free event that features teachers, current students, recent graduates and employers talking about the opportunities and benefits of working in the skilled trades.

In particular, they will share about the different options for apprenticing including starting in high school through the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP). OYAP is available to all students who have completed 14 credits,  are at least 15 years old and are in a Co-op program. 

Taking Co-op is the key to starting your apprenticeship while still in high school.  Students taking Co-op and participating in OYAP can start their apprenticeship.  Students in Co-op and OYAP Level 1 Dual Credit courses can take their level 1 apprenticeship training at Conestoga College, and students are required to take Co-op to complete their SHSM program.  Taking tech courses is also a great way to improve your hands-on skills.

As part of the Co-op program, students get out of the school and into a workplace, learning and working alongside professionals in their field of interest.  It’s a great way to test drive a career!

Find your path to the trades. Talk to your Guidance Counsellor or start your journey to a great career by registering for the Explore Your Future event.

Categories: Co-op · OYAP · Pathways · SCWI · SHSM