OPINION: Consider the skilled trades

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Throw away the stereotypes and take advantage of the opportunities.

That’s our advice to young women, and men, when it comes to following a career path.

Teens of today, like many of their parents, are encouraged to head to university to gain a better education than what their mothers and fathers obtained.

Four years of education, and a great deal of expense to cover the cost of tuition and living outside of Chatham-Kent is no guarantee of a job.

Go into the skilled trades, and your job is all but guaranteed. And the need will soon be on the rise.

By 2026, one in five job openings will be in the skilled trades.

Those working in the industry are aging, with many looking to retire. There are businesses craving apprentices to groom into positions that are already available or will soon come available.

From HVAC technicians to millwrights to electricians, you name it, the workforce needs it.

The stigma with skilled trades is you are poorly paid and you get your hands dirty. Well, you may get your hands dirty, but compensation is well worth it.

Welders, electricians, plumbers, etc., generally make considerably more money than many a university graduate who did not find a job in his or her field, or took a major in a subject of very limited scope.

Imagine coming right out of high school into a paying gig that trains you on the job, with large pay raises awaiting you down the road.

It’s not fantasy.

Certainly, we have a need for nurses – a traditionally female dominated profession – and a host of health-care professionals. Engineers, teachers, lab techs, etc., are required as well.

But for people who don’t want to spend years in the classroom or lecture hall, there are alternatives; jobs that help drive our economy too.

The Bradley Centre recently hosted a trade expo earmarked towards young women.

When you essentially have half the population not involved in skilled trades – women – there’s an excellent place to obtain needed skilled workers.

The trades have for too long been male dominated and considered male-only. It is time to see more equality.

And when there is a good career awaiting, with excellent pay, it’s worth a serious look.

 

 

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