For years Canadians have been hearing about the looming skilled trades gap. Ottawa believes the gap is so big that it’s hampering the country’s economic growth, but in a report released on Tuesday BMO refutes the skilled trades crisis.
The report says the skilled trades gap is exaggerated and it’s smaller than it was 20 years ago. BMO analyzed the Bank of Canada’s most recent business outlook survey and pointed out that only 25 per cent of companies polled brought up not having enough skilled workers. This is a great improvement compared to 15 years ago, when about 35 per cent of companies polled mentioned a shortage.
In the report, BMO economist Doug Porter points out that these shortages are low when compared to our current unemployment rate of seven per cent. But BMO is just one voice in a sea of people who agree with Ottawa.
A spokesperson for the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development disputed BMO’s findings and told the CBC that many employers in growing industries are reporting a skilled trades shortage. Groups ranging from rival bank CIBC and Engineers Canada to lobby groups representing the mining, oil and gas industries have also released reports agreeing with the government’s assessment.
So what does this mean for Canadians? The reality is the resource industry is a major growing industry in our nation. It’s one that will likely continue to need more and more workers for years to come. So when sending your kids off to university, it’s important to consider the job market and what careers have room for growth. Whether the skilled trades gap is lessening or not, if your child works better with their hands, it could be a stable career option for those gen Yers.
Plus, you won’t have to fork over as much for tuition. And let’s face it, there are many well-paying jobs in these sectors. Don’t let the ‘lack of glory’ in these industries blind you, there’s nothing great about earning your PhD and being forced to work as a dishwasher just to pay off your student debt.