Published:September 28, 2021

-Western Standard


Being a tradesperson in Canada is still frowned upon by the Gen Zers, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

A survey of teenagers and young adults found many considered the work too hard, boring and “not as respected” as other jobs, while acknowledging trades paid better than many university degrees.

“Most participants displayed attaching at least an implicit, and some an explicit, stigma to working in skilled trades,” said the study, National Skilled Trades Advertising Campaign Youth Research Final Report.

It follows a cabinet pledge from 2019 to spend $10 million a year promoting trades “as a first choice career for young people.”

Students who were attracted to trades mentioned the “good salary” and “lifelong career” where apprentices “can start right out of high school and learn on the job” and “earn a solid living.”

Students with relatives in trades “spoke of family members who were pursuing a career in their field of choice and one about which they were passionate.”

Young people who didn’t want a job in the trades complained of “physically difficult work” they considered “boring,” “dangerous,” and “not as respected” as other careers.

Critics called it “a fall back,” “second chance” and “basic” and questioned whether their parents would approve.

“Some felt their parents were among those in society who hold stigma against work in the skilled trades,” said the report.

“Indeed, when asked how their parents would feel if they expressed an interest in skilled trades, many participants particularly young adults felt their parents would advise them to go to university.”

The employment department paid Earnscliffe Strategy Group $49,291 for the research. Findings were based on six online focus groups nationwide with teenagers as young as 16 and young adults under 24.

Statistics Canada research dating from 2013 identified a chronic shortage of skilled trades in Canada.