Director's Cut Episode # 3 - Skilled Trades in the Halton District School Board
Jobs in the skilled trades are an essential part of today’s world.
While we live in an increasingly digital age, there is a vital need to manufacture products, and to fix, design and deliver a whole host of services that depend on the work of quality skilled tradespeople. It is estimated that by 2025, 40 percent of all jobs will be in the skilled trades.
From construction and transportation to manufacturing and service, there are more than 140 designated trades. Professionals in the skilled trades design, build, fix, frame and beautify the world we live and work in.
The Halton District School Board recognizes the need for skilled trades professionals and has designed flexible and specialized programming to meet these crucial needs.
Our Pathways Programs have been developed to incorporate Specialist High Skills Major programs, Ontario Youth Apprenticeships, Dual Credits and co-op opportunities. Our goal is to create programming that gives our students quality classroom learning and important on-the-job training to help them obtain a meaningful and relevant career in the skilled trades industry. We are preparing students for these high-demand jobs.
We recognize many of our students possess all kinds of abilities and are hands-on, creative thinkers. Every post-secondary pathway including Apprenticeship, College, Community, University and Work leads to careers in the Skilled Trades.
The skilled trades industry is so important to the vitality of our society. The industry is made up of highly-educated, talented and resourceful individuals who perform important work. From plumbing and mechanical to hairstyling and landscaping, we need qualified individuals to fill these key and well-paying roles. The Skilled trades are essential to ensure we can maintain our way of life and to keep people and society moving forward every day.
In Halton, we have developed numerous pathways to help students achieve their skilled trades goal. They include our Specialist High Skills Major program, where students choosing a SHSM program earn valuable industry certification and training. It also allows them to try a potential career with a hands on experiential learning opportunity in their chosen trade.
In the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, students prepare for apprenticeships by combining technological education courses with a cooperative education placement to provide the required knowledge, skills and technical work experience to begin an apprenticeship.
Dual credit programs are ministry-approved programs that allow students, while they are still in secondary school, to take college or apprenticeship courses that count toward a high school diploma and a postsecondary certificate, diploma, degree or a Certificate of Apprenticeship. Students are taught by college instructors and get opportunities to use modern equipment to build skills as they move into their career pathway.
These programs help students learn their craft and understand the limitless opportunities for a satisfying career as an employee of a company or as an entrepreneur, owning your own business. There is a lot of opportunity for professional growth in skilled trades.
Statistics show that around three-quarters of apprentices who successfully complete their program are working in a certified trade. Tradespeople can work anywhere in Canada, allowing for a great deal of mobility.
Securing a place in an apprenticeship is an essential part of what the HDSB does to help students find employment when they graduate. Our high schools are essential in helping students navigate the skilled trades world. We work alongside our students every step of the way, helping guide them and ensuring they are enrolled in courses that fit their current and future needs.
Co-op opportunities are also part of the learning experience in school. We work closely with industry professionals, such as ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Sheehan’s Truck Centre and Ontario Construction Career Alliance, as well as local companies and trade organizations to provide students with access to valuable insight and expertise.
Our board and secondary schools are involved in many initiatives that highlight skilled trades and the multiple pathways opportunities that exist for students. They include Pathways Information Evenings for parents and students, the Future That Fits board-wide field trip, SHSM Expos, skills competitions and visits to secondary Tech Ed facilities by elementary students.