Today, a group of youth from YWCA’s Strive program connected with trade professionals to learn about opportunities to work in the skilled trades.
The event, hosted in partnership by the Construction Foundation of BC, Vancouver Regional Construction Association, and the YWCA’s Strive program provided a group of youth with an immersive experience to “try-on” a trade and receive in-person skill and knowledge development.
“Taking the leap to start a new career is a difficult jump to take,” shared René Ragetli, CFBC’s Director of Project Operations. “To help remove roadblocks to getting started, this workshop was developed to offer participants an opportunity to interact and learn as much as possible about pathways to employment in construction. By making these workshops fun, engaging, and hands-on, participants not only learn practical skills but also have a direct connection with trade professionals who can advise on a variety of topics related to the skilled trade or the industry in general.”
A highlight of the day included the sense of wonder felt by the participants when they completed simple metalworking projects that they were able to take home as evidence of their capability to learn new skills and put them to practical use.
“There has never been a better time to join the skilled trades workforce. At present, there is a shortage of skilled workers across all industries in Canada, but the current shortage is anticipated to become significantly worse as approximately 700,000 skilled workers are going to retire this decade,” stated Sheila Sadler, Red Seal Sheet Metal Journeyperson with Viaduct Sheet Metal. “Participating and helping to lead workshops such as this one, is just one way I can help introduce my trade to future tradespeople.”
Through these workshops, we hope to not only help close this employment gap in the market but also be a part of the career transformation for many hard-working and deserving individuals across the province.
YWCA Strive is a holistic life skills and employment program to support youth aged 17 – 24 who are transitioning or have transitioned out of care. Participants must be education or employment-ready, legally entitled to work in Canada and currently working less than 20 hours per week.