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How Skills Ontario Is Inspiring Youth to Pursue Skilled Trades

Skills Ontario supports the education and development of skilled trades for young Ontarians through various initiatives and programs.

Skills Ontario is a charity organization that has been delivering programming to promote skilled trades and technologies to youth for over 30 years. Through the pandemic, the organization adapted to deliver programming virtually and noticed a shift. With a cultural spotlight on essential workers, more and more Canadians realized the importance of and need for professionals in the skilled trades and technologies.

The significance of skilled careers

Professionals working in the skilled trades and technologies are crucial to our province and our country. We depend on their work every day. They build our homes, maintain our cars, produce our tools, prepare our food, keep us connected to others, and provide services that are irreplaceable.

Skills Ontario works to deliver educational, engaging programs that inspire young Ontarians to picture themselves in these careers. Disproving stigmas and shining a light on the importance of these fields is one of the many ways we do that. By running the country’s largest skilled trades and technologies competition every May, in addition to conferences, workshops, a mobile app, the new Trades & Tech Truck, and events throughout the year, Skills Ontario is providing a space for young people to explore their pathways and get inspired.

The organization prioritizes ensuring the skilled workforce is diverse and welcoming. Through our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity initiatives, we’re making sure that youth know the skilled trades and technologies welcome all.

For over 20 years, Skills Ontario has been running its Young Women’s Initiatives program. Through experiential learning, mentorship, and networking opportunities, we’ve reached thousands of young women with an aim to inspire them to explore career paths they may have never considered before or might have even been discouraged from considering.

Skills Ontario has also been running First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Initiatives since 2011 and continues to engage Indigenous youth through Skilled Trades & Tech Days, Student Conferences, and more.

Benefits and opportunities for you

Skilled trades and technologies offer amazing opportunities. They’re always in demand, are lucrative and rewarding, offer incredible growth opportunities, and are hands-on. They also help develop transferrable skills — there are many opportunities to implement your abilities across different skilled professions and fields.

“As an organization dedicated to empowering youth to explore careers in the skilled trades and technologies, we work to highlight the importance of skilled professionals and bridge the skills gap,” says Ian Howcroft, CEO of Skills Ontario. “Through our programs and initiatives, we emphasize that the skilled trades and technologies are suitable for all. We will continue to put our efforts into making sure all Ontarians feel included, heard, and appreciated.”

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