Close this search box.

Skilled Trades Shortages – and Opportunities

Matthew Lindberg, dean of NAIT’s School of Skilled Trades, recently announced that apprenticeship enrolments at NAIT are growing. So much so, in fact, that the number of people pursuing apprenticeships is at the highest level since 2014. This is a welcome fillip given the growing number of retirement-aged workers are outpacing the supply of new, working-age, labour market-ready participants.

The good news is that people are sensing opportunities in the trades, and colleges are expanding facilities and enrolments to meet the need. NAIT’s Skilled Trades program, for example, is planning for an expected 12% increase in enrolments in the coming year that will go on to help support industry needs and meet apprenticeship demands.

Underpinning this growth in interest in the trades is a healthy provincial economy, bolstered by steady population growth and significant construction projects underway in the province. Last year, to address increasing infrastructure needs, the Alberta government announced $15 million in funding to increase the number of apprenticeship opportunities across various trades.

Elsewhere, Lindberg has also commended the new Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act, which improves access to highly sought-after apprenticeship positions. Furthermore, NAIT’s Accelerated Trade Entry program and the Next In Trades event series helps newcomers and underrepresented Albertans to explore career options in the trades.

Construction organizations looking to hire tradespeople are increasingly offering incentives to workers as well. Professional development opportunities, tuition subsidies, and graduate program initiatives continue to encourage even more young Canadians to pursue highly in-demand trades careers.

Read the full article here.