The new website aims to be a plethora of one-stop trades information

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In order to meet the demand for tradespeople in the industry over the next few years, it is important to encourage the next generation and people from underrepresented groups to join the trades.

A new central online platform called Construction Training and Apprenticeship Ontario, or ctaontario.com, has been launched to provide information about these careers in one place.

“One of the things we’ve discovered is that we’re our own worst promoters. There is no central place where you can go online and see all the different options for trades,” explained Robert Bronk, CEO of the Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS). “In our sector, we have 25 different professions. High school students or new Canadians or young men and women who may be tired of minimum wage jobs and planning to look for something else, it is very difficult for them to find opportunities because they are a bit scattered and each works in its own silo.”

OCS worked with the Ontario Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council to develop the website.

“We worked with them to fill in, get the details and technical information,” Bronk said. “We’re trying to make it easier for people to find different trades in different parts of Ontario.

“If you don’t know a business exists, how can you investigate it? Maybe it’s something that resonates with you.

The website will outline all of the different trades, what the requirements are, and what you need to get into them.

“A lot of people know what carpenters, painters, plumbers, electricians do. . .but they don’t really know what a boilermaker does or what a millwright or glazier does,” Bronk said. “The goal and the intention is to have a place where you have the starting salaries, where the training centers are, what the training looks like, what tools do you work with. It’s something we do to industry which is an indispensable tool and resource.”

Although the website is operational, the intention is to see further enhancements to it over the coming year.

“We have a good starting point, but we want to have more photos of typical job sites, video interviews with apprentices and contractors,” Bronk said. “In a year it should be really robust and one of the best sites in North America. This is our intention.

In addition to the absence of a centralized repository to find information on trades, the lack of awareness is another obstacle.

“The perception there is that it’s heavy work, you’re carrying and lifting things all the time, you’re going to get dirty, be 40 (degrees) below or 30 (degrees) above,” noted Bronck.

“They don’t really understand that there is a whole range of expertise in every job, that there is a wide range of opportunities to use your creativity, innovation, technology. People don’t really understand the nuances between trades and that’s something we need to look at.

There are many benefits to an apprenticeship, including earning money while you learn. There are also so many different opportunities to be had.

“I don’t think people understand the potential,” Bronk said. “If you don’t want to work on the tools…after you get enough experience, you can become a supervisor, foreman, estimator, trade contractor and own your own business.

People tend to see construction by what they see when they walk past it, he added.

“They see guys pouring concrete for sidewalks and roads or pouring foundations for buildings, but once the foundation and the structure are in place and the walls are closed in, they don’t see all these trades that go are inside this building,” he said.

“Building isn’t for everyone, but there are a lot of people who have already closed that door before they really figure out what they’re closing the door on.”

He encouraged anyone interested to check out the website.

“If you study the trades and look at the different options, it will help you make a decision on which trades might be right for you,” Bronk said. “I hope this will give job seekers a better understanding of what this profession is, as well as teachers, parents and influencers. If they fully understand what these different options are, they will be better able to communicate this to their students or children. »

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