Skilled workers are not limited to construction.
Skilled workers are not limited to construction trades.

Our over-educated and under-employed workforce would do well to consider what the son of business friend chose for a career. At a time when parents and educators are force-feeding young people a steady diet of university fare, our friend’s son chose to become a plumber. He’s been fully-employed in this line of work for more than ten years now, progressing through a four-year apprenticeship that included college courses, job training and practical experience. He’s now a Project Manager for a mechanical contractor, responsible for overseeing and managing the work performed by others.

We’ve been hearing for years about shortages in skilled trades. It was a constant concern when I worked for EllisDon and time hasn’t improved the situation. Anyone who chooses to become a plumber, electrician, carpenter, mechanic, bricklayer, painter, drywaller or other skilled trades person can be assured of full-time work for the rest of his or her life regardless of where they live. These jobs are important in the world of business and are not limited to large urban centres. Skilled workers can work full-time wherever they live, in small communities or large cities. Their skills are always in demand and in short supply.

worker2One of the major benefits of employment in the skilled trades is financial. Just consider what you have to pay a plumber to visit your home to replace the seal on your toilet, a painter to redecorate your main floor or an electrician to install a new ceiling fixture in your diningroom. And we’ve all had heart-stopping bills from the mechanic who maintains our vehicle.

Isn’t it time we stopped funneling everyone into university and directed them instead to the many options available in skilled fields? Consider the benefits:

  • Full employment, either with an established firm or self-employment.
  • Mobility, whether the individual prefers small-town life or life in the city, across the country.
  • Financial security. Hourly rates are lucrative and if unionized, benefits are plentiful.
  • Flexibility in working hours.
  • Flexibility in type of work, whether you want to work indoors or outdoors, on commercial or residential, on production or custom projects.
  • You’ll be everyone’s friend. We’d all love to have a plumber, electrician, carpenter or mechanic in our circle.
  • Mate bait. Having a skilled trades person as a partner makes for a happier home life.
  • Growth potential. Whether working for someone else or self-employed, opportunities are abundant for bright, ambitious individuals to advance their careers into supervisory, administrative or entrepreneurial positions.

Ask your under-employed friends and relatives to give it some thought. And skilled work isn’t limited to the construction trades. Wouldn’t it be great to have a baker, a hairdresser, chef or telecommunications person in the family? The benefits are undeniable and last a lifetime.

Lynda Davis

As an early Baby Boomer, born in 1947, it seems to me that as we approach our retirement years, Boomers have gone from being the energy driving our nation to slowly becoming invisible. We risk losing our identity as society remains stubbornly youth-centric. And the irony is that Gen Xers and Ys are not the majority; we are. BOOMERBROADcast is my platform for being the voice of Baby Boomers, women in particular. We've generated a lot of changes over the decades but there's still a long way to go. After a 40-year career in the corporate world, I've taken up expressing the observations and concerns of our generation. Instead of pounding the pavement in my bellbottoms with a cardboard sign, I'm pounding my laptop (I learned to type on a manual typewriter and old habits die hard). If you have issues or concerns you would like voiced or have comments on what I've voiced, I'd love to hear from you. We started breaking the rules in the sixties and now that we're in our sixties it's no time to become complacent. Hope you'll stay tuned and if you like BOOMERBROADcast, share it with your friends. Let's rock n' roll! If you would like to be notified whenever I publish a new posting, click on the little blue box in the lower right of your screen that says +Follow→ Lynda Davis

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Agree totally…..similarly my grandson at the age of 21 is a fully accomplished home builder for a reputable builder of Log Homes in the Ottawa area. He is capable of costing an entire home down to the last nail. Recently he built an entire log home with one helper in two weeks. Recently he formed a small roofing business to fill in the gaps when awaiting new contracts for the Log Homes. He has completed his first contract and the total satisfaction of the home owner. A new request for roofing has been received as a result of a reference from his first job. I am so proud.

  2. right on!

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