It used to be that if someone didn’t want to attend university, it was suggested they “do something with their hands.” Thank heavens that is no longer the case. In fact, having some “trades” in my own family, I would have to say there is a lot more to working in the trades than working with ones hands — particularly given the many uses of computer technology today and the fact that most are entrepreneurs and self-employed business people.
In fact, I would go so far as to say those in the trades are “salt of the earth” people. They work very long hours and without the cushy benefits enjoyed by many in the social sectors like teaching and accounting. And, when they take vacation time, they are not paid. The bottom line is that we simply cannot manage without them — particularly when we need them in an emergency.
Well, it seems Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the federal Conservative government agrees with that view as well. Yesterday, for example, the PM participated in the Sarnia Construction Association’s 41st Annual Construction Apprentice Graduation. A total of 100 graduates were on hand to hear the prime minister say:
“You’ve made a great career choice. In the coming years Canada is going to need hundreds of thousands of skilled tradesmen and women. Without skilled trades people, you can’t build the factories, plants, schools, housing and other infrastructures we need to keep our economy growing and our country strong.”
And, the Conservative government has invested in the trades. For example, as the PM’s media announcement states:
“Since taking office the Government has undertaken several initiatives to support trades apprenticeship programs. They include: The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant, which provides $1000 per year to help apprentices pay for education and training during the first two years of an apprenticship program.”
There is also an Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit — which provides employers with a tax credit of $2000 per apprentice for each of the first two years of their contract. Moreover, there is a “tools deduction” worth up to $500 of the cost of their tools.
So, to any young people who don’t know what they want to do with their lives, look at one of the many trades available because they are a great career choice. No matter which trade — carpenters, drywallers, framers, siders, brick layers, welders, pipefitters, electricians, plumbers, auto mechanics and collision repair and others — all are the backbone of our economy.