Skilled Trades make up a large part of the Canadian economy, employing 1 out of every 5 people. Each of the trades touches a tangible aspect of Canadian life and provides the basic framework for every community. 

Beyond being able to contribute directly to the community, there are a lot of reasons why choosing a Skilled Trade is a great idea: 


Job diversity.

Not every trade requires strength and labour. There are actually more than 300 registered trades in Canada and 144 apprenticeable trades! While many trades are more physically demanding than your average desk job, technology has improved tools and equipment to a point where brute strength is no longer necessary. 

There are also many trades that are much more customer-facing. Having a career as a  baker, hair stylist, landscape horticulturist, educational assistant requires not only specialized training, but a desire to serve people. The trades are open to everyone and nothing should limit you from pursuing the career you want!


Earn while you learn.

Going into the trades means students start acquiring real world experience while they learn from a skilled tradesperson. This is usually done through apprenticeships or experiential learning programs like the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP). While moving through the apprenticeship pathway, students can receive both pay, and educational credits, all while working on real life projects. 


Master a skill. 

A journeyperson is someone who is skilled and qualified in their particular trade. Apprentices become journeypersons upon completion of their apprenticeship, graduating to a level where they receive the certification, respect, high wages and other benefits associated with that trade. From there, they can give back to the community by taking on their own apprentices and fostering the next generation of skilled trade workers. 


High job security and satisfaction

As Canada’s population continues to age, and the current skilled workforce retires, there is an anticipated trade worker shortage of 1.2 million people. Beyond that type of job demand and security, skilled trade workers often feel satisfied with their job when their skills and abilities are being maximized in the workplace. No more feeling idle and disengaged, trades workers get to see their work impact the economy on a day-to-day basis. 


Work across Canada

A Red Seal is used to endorse a journeyperson’s Certificate of Qualification and confirms that the individual has attained a nationally recognized level of competency in a particular trade. That means that you can practice anywhere in Canada, giving you flexibility to travel the country throughout your career. 

The Waterloo Region District School Board seeks to engage students with the skilled trades through Co-operative Education and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, many of which lead to Red Seal Certification. Jumpstart your apprenticeship today by talking to the guidance staff at your school.