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Tips for getting into the skilled trades for students of all ages

Tips for getting into the skilled trades for students of all ages

TORONTO — Skilled Trades Ontario is providing tips to help elementary, high school and post-secondary students who are interested in the skilled trades navigate the path into them.

The Ontario government has officially designated 144 occupations as skilled trades, covering industries such as mechanical, electrical, automotive and manufacturing and others. While it’s not always easy for students to find out about how to pursue a career in the skilled trades, Skills Ontario is a place they can start.

For elementary school students:

  • Enrol in a Skills Ontario week-long summer camp at com/camp. The camps offer hands-on activities in skilled trades and technology, allowing Grade 7 and 8 students to explore career paths and develop essential workplace soft skills.
  • Grade 7 and 8 classes can participate in an Elementary Career Awareness Workshop which offers hands-on experiences in Ontario’s recognized skilled trade sectors.
  • Parents can discover skilled trade and technology career options through the Skills Ontario App. It includes an aptitude quiz to help students match their interests with suitable skilled trade careers. It also provides links to trade organizations, information on employment and scholarship opportunities.

For high school students:

  • Students in Grades 11 and 12 can explore apprenticeship options in skilled trade careers by consulting their guidance counsellor or the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program co-ordinator at their school.
  • Students can enrol in trades courses offered at their school and plan to participate in the Skills Ontario Competition – Secondary Division.
  • Online resources are available for students. Skills Ontario has a YouTube channel featuring a diverse library of videos showcasing past events and discussing skilled trade careers with professionals.
  • Volunteering with Skills Ontario provides students with experience, knowledge and the opportunity to build relationships that could potentially lead to job opportunities.

For college and university students:

  • College students considering a career in the skilled trades and technologies should consult with their academic adviser to explore the available programs at their institution.
  • Students who are currently enrolled in a trades or technology program can participate in the Skills Ontario Competition – Post-Secondary Division. The competition provides a platform to showcase skills and connect with potential employers.
  • Networking has proven to be instrumental in helping many post-secondary students secure job opportunities throughout their careers after graduating.
  • Skills Ontario offers a podcast called Skills Ontario Trades and Tech Talk Podcast hosted by Dan Cardinal. The podcast covers over 140 skilled trade and technology careers, as well as topics such as post-secondary education, apprenticeships, wage and more.

For more information visit Skills Ontario.

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