Category Archives: Uncategorized

Employers Needed

As a graduate of the Durham College welding program I found this article interesting as it spoke to something that I have witnessed over the span of my working life, the looming shortage of trades people.  One of the big problems that we have in Canada is a lack of on the job training that an apprenticeship program requires.  The Conference Board of Canada in 2011 found that spending for on-the-job training had dropped 40% since peaking in 1993.  This despite the fact that a study by the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum found that employers received $1.47 for every $1.00 spent on training.

The new federal government program of Apprenticeship grants and  will only work if employers get on board and hire more apprentices.   To this end the government is working with the provinces to bring in the Canada Job Grant program.  This program will provide $15,000 per person so Canadians can access the training they will need to get jobs in the high-demand fields.  It is hoped that this will encourage Canadian businesses to take on and train more apprentices.

Some employers are trying to get around the skilled labour shortage by bringing in foreign trained workers through the Temporary Foreign Worker program.  This despite an unemployment rate of 13.9% among youths 15  to 24 in January 2014, almost 400,000 young Canadians.  If they are truly concerned about the future employers should be looking to partner with government and educational institutes to train and create opportunities for these young people.

As more and more baby boomers retire from the skilled trades we will need more and more young people to step in and take over.  Apprenticeship is one of the most important mechanisms we have to ensure that we will have a skilled workforce in the future.

Canada-Fed-Skilled-Worker1-300x251

Education Is a Self Organizing System

In 2010 Dr. Sugata Mitra dazzled the audience at TED with his talk about his experiments using computers to educate impoverished children in India.  Embedding a computer in a wall the children were able to teach themselves how to use it.  Now with Newcastle University he has designed ever more complicated experiments to push the boundaries of his theory.   No he is attempting to prove the hypothesis that “Education is a self organizing system, where learning is an emergent phenomenon…”

This year at TED Dr. Mitra tells us that schools are obsolete and describes  Self Organized Learning Environments (SOLE) and makes an appeal for his School in the Cloud.

 

Pre-Apprenticeship Programs

Pre-apprenticeship Courses

Pre-apprenticeship Courses are courses designed to introduce prospective apprentices to the skilled trades.  many are designed for specific groups that are not usually represented in the skilled trades such as women, aboriginals, and people from different ethnic backgrounds.  Some are designed to help integrate people with barriers to employment such as drug or alcohol addictions into gaining productive employment.

The Trade Winds to Success program in Edmonton is an example of such a program.  Here is a report in the Edmonton Journal.

Pre-apprenticeship