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Cracks in Canada’s job market starting to show, finance minister warned

Posted on 08 August 2018 by admin

OTTAWA – An internal federal analysis is forecasting job market moderation on the horizon following Canada’s extended period of healthy employment growth.

The assessment prepared last spring for Finance Minister Bill Morneau is predicting that job creation will fade over the near term for a number of reasons – the economy has been running at full capacity, the unemployment rate has bottomed out near a four-decade low and the aging population is applying downward pressure.

The memo notes that the labour market lost a combined 72,600 positions in the first two months of the year in what Finance officials suggest could mark a turning point after a strong 2017 streak that produced 425,000 jobs, which were mostly full time.

Morneau was also informed that despite the job market’s performance, it has signs of weakness – including unexpectedly modest wage growth, a lethargic rebound in Alberta since the 2014 oil-price collapse and a higher-than-anticipated share of unemployed people who have been looking for work for at least six months.

The Canadian Press obtained the document under the Access to Information Act.

Whether or not criticism is warranted, the federal Liberal government can expect political foes to focus on incoming batches of weaker jobs numbers as they ready their attacks in the lead-up to next year’s election.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, for instance, has already accused the Trudeau government of squandering the booming economy that he argues the Liberals inherited in 2015 from the Tories.


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Minimum wage increases bite into funding boost for Canada Summer Jobs program

Posted on 25 July 2018 by admin

Rising provincial minimum wages have cut into the reach of the Liberal government’s oft-touted increase to summer jobs spending by reducing the number of weekly hours being funded this year.

The Liberals have doubled spending on the politically popular program to approximately $220 million in order to boost the number of available jobs to 70,000 from about 35,000.

Newly released documents show the government was aware in late winter that there would be a drop in the number of hours funded through the program to meet the Liberal government’s summer jobs target.

A mid-March briefing note to Labour Minister Patty Hajdu warned of the planned reduction in the average hours per job funded through the program, moving to a national average of 30 hours a week in 2018 from 35 in 2017.

Officials wrote that the plan could raise concerns from MPs who like to promote the spending, as well as from employers _ particularly organizations that need help paying and attracting seasonal workers.

“The reduction is expected to affect organizations that require more weeks in order to sustain their operations (e.g. summer camp) and to attract enough potential applicants,” reads the briefing note, obtained by The Canadian Press under the access to information law.

Figures provided by the department suggest officials have eased some of the effects, but there has still been a decline in hours across all 10 provinces. There has been no reduction in funded hours in the territories.

A spokeswoman for Hajdu said the government stands by its decision to double the number of jobs through the program, and is “continually looking at ways to improve the program” for students needing “quality summer job experience.”

The annual program provides wage subsidies, targeting mostly not-for-profit groups and small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

The program helps small businesses and organizations manage cash flow in the early stages of a summer placement because students may need time to learn the job before they contribute to an organization’s bottom line, said Ted Mallett, vice-president and chief economist at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

“That’s why these government programs are helpful in overcoming those kinds of start-up difficulties for small firms.”

Demand for funding always exceeds the amount the government spends on the program and this year was no different. The total value of all the applications this year was $68.9 million more than last year, a figure the briefing note chalked up to rising minimum wages, particularly in Ontario, Alberta and B.C. Hajdu was told the increases in minimum wage nationally averaged out to a 13.7 per cent bump in wages.

At a kickoff event for the program in late April, one non-profit group pressed Hajdu about the government’s plan to deal with the effects of minimum wage increases on the program.

Hajdu responded that officials were working with provinces and territories. She added that employers approved for funding would make “decisions and determinations accordingly” about hours and duration of summer jobs.

The department overseeing the program recommended 85,000 jobs for funding this year out of the more than 153,500 requests. Officials recommended more jobs than the expected 70,000 because some employers drop out of the program, while others end up being unable to fill the jobs.

Final Canada Summer Jobs figures won’t be known until later this year.

The Liberals have faced criticism this year from faith-based groups over new funding criteria that required groups to say neither their core mandate nor the jobs being funded actively worked to undermine constitutional, human and reproductive rights.

Many faith-based groups refused to sign the declaration and the government is facing legal challenges to the anti-abortion requirements.

Employment and Social Development Canada said officials have not revoked any group’s funding this year for being in violation of the declaration.

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Mastering the art of the job search

Posted on 18 July 2018 by admin

 Whether it’s your first job out of post-secondary or the next step up the corporate ladder, finding a new job is never easy. If you’ve recently arrived in Canada, the process can be even more daunting. Your day-to-day life, as well as navigating the job market might be quite different from what you are familiar with. Understanding how it works in Canada will help set you on the path towards a fulfilling career.

Here are a few tips to help you along with your job search:

Leveragesocial networks.There are many online platforms that are frequently updated for job seekers, and are available for free. LinkedIn is a popular example where professionals can network, learn more about different industries, search, and or apply for jobs. Having an up-to-date profile with relevant work experience, education and volunteer experience will be an asset when it comestime to applying on this social platform.

Find local resources. Look for free resources available in your neighbourhood. Organizations like ACCES Employment can help you with your job search and so much more. Aside from just helping you search for jobs, community-based companies may also be able to offer skills training, language courses and resume help.

Make time to volunteer. While you settle in and get your job search underway, explore volunteer opportunities. While they may not lead to a full-time job, volunteering is a great way to expand your network and help you hone in on skills or develop your interests.

Find more information at


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Tenaris Algoma Tubes Blames U.S. Tariffs For 40 Job Cuts

Posted on 05 July 2018 by admin

They had hired some new employees only months earlier.

An Ontario manufacturer is laying off approximately 40 workers, and says U.S. tariffs are to blame.

Seamless steel pipe manufacturer Tenaris Algoma Tubes is based in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Less than a year ago, it hired 50 new workers as they were “cautiously optimistic” about the market, reported SooToday.

That has all fizzled after U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration brought in a 25 per cent tariff on Canadian steel on June 1. It has created an”unsustainable market to serve our U.S. customers,” said David McHattie, head of Tenaris institutional relations, in a statement to media on Friday. “The market outlook remains uncertain as we continue to understand the full-scale impacts of cross-border tariffs.”

McHattie added the company is also feeling “the effect of increased import competition in Canada from countries no longer able to sell in the U.S. due to the Section 232 action on them.”

The 40 layoffs come into effect on July 1, the same day as Canada’s retaliatory tariffs kick in. Countermeasures include a 25 per cent tariff on U.S. steel and aluminium products, reflecting the U.S. tariffs on similar products from Canada. It also adds a 10 per cent surtax to a few other products including lawn mowers and whiskey.

The Canadian government is also providing $2 billion in aid to industries affected by the U.S. tariffs, and the money will likely be used expand a work-sharing program and improve a corporate innovation fund, Bloomberg reported.

TOM WILLIAMS VIA GETTY IMAGESSen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., talks with reporters in the Capitol’s Senate subway before the Senate Policy luncheons on June 19, 2018.

The brewing trade war will likely affect people on both sides of the border, a fact that has U.S. Republican Sen. Patrick Toomey “really concerned.” His home state of Pennsylvania hosts the headquarters for Heinz and ketchup is one of the items targeted by Canadian tariffs, a point he raised recently with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

“I’m really concerned about the retaliation, which hasn’t even really started to hit us yet. But it’s going to hit the people who make Kraft and Heinz products.”

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Canadians benefit from new jobs, skills and business opportunities through innovation

Posted on 30 September 2017 by admin

Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan creates the middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow

September 18, 2017 – Ottawa – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Canadians will benefit from new jobs, skills and business opportunities as a result of the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to turn more promising ideas into market-ready innovations.

That was the message delivered by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, at The ONE National Conference—a gathering of chartered professional accountants and senior financial leaders from across the country to discuss issues of importance to the profession and to the public, presented by CPA Canada and CPA Ontario.

Through the Innovation and Skills Plan, the Government is supporting the growth of Canadian companies by encouraging the public and private sectors to collaborate in bringing more early-stage research to market. Specifically, the Government is:

•          investing $1.4 billion in new financing for clean technology providers;

•          investing $1.2 billion in the Strategic Innovation Fund and $950 million in the Innovation Superclusters Initiative to increase business investment in research and development, which accelerates innovation and creates highly skilled jobs;

•          providing Canadian companies with faster access to top talent from all around the world, under the Global Skills Strategy, to support the scale up of high-growth companies and keep the jobs they create in this country;

•          investing $125 million to launch the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy; and

•          creating the conditions for big-data analytics to drive innovation and job creation.

By providing more direct support for business innovation, the Government plays a key role in creating entirely new industries as well as companies that have the potential to become global brands. And as these companies grow, they will create more middle-class jobs for Canadians.


“Where innovation happens is where the middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow are created. Our government is making smart and responsible investments in innovation that will result in better jobs and opportunities for all Canadians and help equip Canadians with the in-demand skills for the jobs of today and into the future. That’s how innovation leads to a better Canada.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Innovation and skills development play key roles in building a strong and resilient economy, one that values sustainability and social development. Collaborating with employers and other stakeholders, including governments, allows us to adapt and evolve our education programs and professional development offerings to ensure that the knowledge and skills of our members continually meet the needs of the marketplace. Change is rapid. As new technologies and issues emerge, our profession is playing an active role in helping organizations stay ahead of the curve and achieve long-term success.”

– Joy Thomas, President and CEO, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada

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How To Pitch Yourself And Land The Job Of Your Dreams

Posted on 03 May 2017 by admin

In a buyer’s market, job seekers have to be the world’s best salespeople. You have to spark an interest, craft your pitch, and prove the worth of your top product: you. If you can’t sell yourself as the best and brightest for the job, you’ll never close the deal.

Not a natural sales person? That’s OK. Here are four ways to wow recruiters and land yourself your dream job.

Tip #1: Nail Your Intro

First impressions are everything — in business, life, and everywhere in between. If you flub on your first interaction with recruiters, you might as well show yourself the door.

But if you wait until the interview to show your wow factor, you’ll never get through the door in the first place. For every resume you send out, 250 other people are vying for the same position. If you don’t stand out in the first 11 seconds, your resume will be among the 80 per cent headed to the shredder.

Most resumes are regurgitated lists of dates, past employers and accolades. In other words, not the most riveting way to put your best face forward. Instead, consider the job and the company you’re applying for and use your resume to prove your chops. If you’re a graphic designer, play with graphics. If you’re in marketing, create a campaign. One audacious job seeker wanted an interview at Google so he created a resume that looked liked a Google search — and it got him in the door.

Bottom Line: Even the most qualified candidates get ignored if they fail to make a lasting impression. So make your resume something recruiters can’t ignore.

Tip #2: Know Your Audience

Speaking of Google searches, do one! There is absolutely no excuse to go into an interview blind. It’s easier than ever to find information online — so when I interview candidates who know nothing about our brands, it’s an automatic no. We’re not the only ones: 47 per cent of interviewers will turn an applicant down for lack of preparation.

You don’t need to sell ice to an eskimo, but you should know what you’re talking about and who you’re talking to. Browse the company’s website, research industry trends, and (if you know who they are) look into your interviewers. Always try to have a little something up your sleeve to truly impress. This could be a specific feature of the product or service, or a post you saw on their Instagram feed.

Bottom Line: Going deep in your research proves that you’re taking the opportunity seriously.

Tip #3: Be Genuine

We all know the stereotype of the sleazy salesman, bending the truth to cut a deal. Resorting to cheap tricks won’t get you ahead, and recruiters will know if you’re being insincere. A little honesty can get you a long way.

I once interviewed a candidate to lead our digital marketing team and he told me our website sucked. Then he showed me his ideas to take it next-level — and as it turned out, he was right. Looking back, other candidates had praised our website because they didn’t have the courage to tell me the truth. Gabe gave it to me straight and his honesty helped him land the job.

Bottom Line: Be genuine and upfront about what you have to offer. Your fitness for the job will shine through how you present yourself.

Tip #4: Follow Up

Most sales aren’t done on the spot. In fact, 80 per cent require five follow-up calls to close the deal. I’m not saying you should send your interviewer five emails, but you definitely should be sending one.

Sending a note (whether emailed or handwritten) is a small gesture with big results: nearly a quarter of recruiters will veto a candidate who doesn’t follow up post-interview. Following up is a sign of respect, and it shows that you care and are eager about the position.

Bottom Line: First impressions are critical for landing the chance to pitch yourself, but the follow-up is where you’ll close the deal.

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What The Hiring Manager Knows That You Don’t In Salary Negotiations

Posted on 06 April 2017 by admin

Mentioning an exact salary figure costs you money.

Before you even get a job offer, experienced interviewers will try to get you to mention an exact salary figure. This is a tactic. If you provide a number lower than the range they had budgeted for, they know they can get you for cheaper. So, when they ask something like, “What salary are you looking for?” do not provide a specific number.

Your reply should instead be something like, “I know the industry standard for roles like this is $50,000-60,000, and my experience puts me near the top of that range.”

To be able to do this effectively, you need to put your research skills to good use. StatsCan, Payscale, and Robert Half all offer online resources to help you determine salary ranges for different positions. Do your research, taking region and experience into account.

Once an offer does come in, don’t be afraid to counter offer. Just keep in mind that the incremental change between the two offers should be realistic. Typically, it’s a good idea to base this on the level of salary. Below $45,000, the increments should be less than ten grand (so you might want to ask for $5,000 more, for example), whereas over $45,000, the range can be as high as $10,000. If the initial offer was over $75,000, you might be able to ask for as much as a $15-20,000 bump.

If, on the other hand, the initial offer is much lower than you are willing to consider, and you really want the job, try offering to work part time. If you want $60,000 and the offer is $35,000, offer to work three days a week as a consultant. This will allow you to pursue other work and have write offs for being self employed.

Perks are always on the table.

Salary isn’t all that has to be negotiated. Perks are almost always on the table. What are we talking about? Apart from the usual health and dental coverage (which are often set in stone), you can negotiate for vacation time, travel expenses, a car allowance, professional development training, flex time, working from home, and moving costs.

Before bringing any of this up, though, know what the industry standards are so you aren’t asking for the stars and moon. Most importantly, know what will make you happy.

Keep in mind that you might have to grow into some of the perks. Six months down the road you have a lot more to offer a company than you do on day one. If you’re confident in your abilities, this can be a negotiating point as well; ask for a review of compensation and benefits in six months and get it in writing (in the letter of intent or contract).

It is possible to lose a job offer at the last minute.

Even if you’ve survived the resume scan, wowed the interviewers, and been offered the job — you don’t officially have it until the contract is signed. If you come across as too demanding or unreasonable in the the negotiation phase, an offer can be rescinded. Don’t forget this; it ain’t over until the fat lady sings!

It’s also important to remember to protect yourself. No matter how low on the totem pole you are, ask for a letter or contract. When you receive it, read it over carefully to ensure all that was agreed upon is clearly and fairly stated in writing. Make any necessary changes, add your initials to the change, send it back to the employer and pray it all goes through.

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40% Of Canadian Workers Would Take A Pay Cut For Career Growth

Posted on 23 March 2017 by admin

It’s not all about the money, apparently.

According to a new ADP Sentiment Survey, 40 per cent of Canadian workers would take a pay cut at a new job in order to overcome a “growth gap” — a lack of career development opportunities from their current employers.

Of the 828 working Canadians surveyed, 23 per cent said they would take a five per cent pay cut, 12 per cent of employees would take a 10 per cent decrease, and four per cent would take a hit of more than 15 per cent.

One-third of Canadians said their employers didn’t offer support such as skills development programs, training, and career mentoring. Others (19 per cent) said they haven’t asked for support, while nine per cent said their bosses don’t have time for their concerns.

“The paradox of a growth gap is that while many employers say they need workers to be increasingly adaptable to new tasks and responsibilities, many workers are saying they lack the development support to deliver on these expectations,” Sooky Lee of ADP Canada said in a press release Wednesday.

The survey says Canadians facing a “growth gap” can be divided into three categories: “The Ready,” “The Resigned,” and “The Relaxed.”

“The Ready,” are employees who are eager for growth, but feel their company isn’t investing in their careers. This makes up 65 per cent of Canadian workers. Employees who want progress, but have given up on their company are labelled, “The Resigned,” and represent 53 per cent of Canadians. The last group, “The Relaxed,” are those who say career advancement would be nice (21 per cent), but it is not that important.

“Whether the under-developed employees in your organization are ready, resigned or relaxed, this study should be a wake-up call for any employer that cares about employee retention and productivity,” said Lee.

Mentoring costly and time-consuming

While employees may face frustration in dealing with a growth gap, managers aren’t always able to satisfy their needs. A 2012 Forbes article said many managers recognize the importance of mentoring and training, but they are costly and time-consuming tasks.

“Companies must either come up with the resources to meet up the expectations of their talented employees or be constantly in the market to replenish them,” the article read.

How can companies make workers stay?

Companies that provide workers with new job titles and a clear path forward are more likely to retain them, a February study by Glassdoor found.

“Every additional 10 months an employee stagnates in a role makes them one per cent more likely to leave the company when they finally move on to their next position,” according to the job recruitment company.

The study went on to say that employees won’t stay for job titles alone. Pay increases and a healthy workplace culture are also important.

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The Do’s And Don’ts Of Talking Politics At Work

Posted on 26 January 2017 by admin


Canada’s largest career site for job seekers and a leader in HR technology for employers.

Anyone who’s ever been in a heated political argument with an opinionated uncle or aunt at Thanksgiving knows the perils of a political discussion. And with the U.S. Inauguration Day on the books, political talk has never been more fraught. According to a recent study by VitalSmarts co-founders Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, nine out of 10 U.S. voters said the 2016 election was more polarizing and volatile than ever before.

So, how do you cover what will inevitably be a topic of discussion, without starting a bitter debate with coworkers? Read on for the do’s and don’ts of talking politics at the office.

DO: Disagree diplomatically

Surprisingly, VitalSmarts’ survey found that people would rather talk to someone they disagree with who speaks respectfully, rather than someone who shares their views but expresses them belligerently. “Most of us think the only safe space to talk is with those who agree with us, and it’s just not true,” said Grenny.

DON’T: Lie about your beliefs to conform

Sure, sometimes it seems easier to take the path of least resistance. But lying about what you believe isn’t a healthy long-term strategy. “A lot of people think being diplomatic is sugarcoating your opinions,” Grenny said. “But that’s not a meaningful conversation.”

DO: Focus on common ground

It might be hard to believe, but you might share some ideological similarities even with people at the opposite of the political spectrum. Locate those common threads and use them to weave understanding. “It’s totally possible two people with polar opposite positions have similar values,” Grenny said. “On immigration, maybe you both care about national security, and taking care of those with citizenship, and the disagreements are how we execute on those values.”

DON’T: Try to change the other person’s mind

After thousands of hours of cable news reports, most people’s opinions are pretty strongly held by now. If you try to “convert” your conversation partner, you may come off as preachy or condescending. “Give up the desire to proselytize to someone with a different opinion,” Grenny said.

DO: Ask for permission

Simply asking if it’s OK to express your dissenting opinion goes a long way, Grenny said. “People feel psychologically different when they give permission to share our point of view.” And with respect to the president-elect, don’t build walls in the conversation. Listen and try to be understanding.

DO: Plan an escape route

No matter how carefully you communicate, some political discussions are simply bound to get heated. If that’s the case, be sure to recognize it and find what Grenny calls the “off-ramp.”

“If it looks like it’s creating something that neither person wants, just stop. As soon as one of those signals occurs, say, ‘gosh, I think I’m getting a little too agitated, it looks like you’re not liking what you’re hearing from me, so let’s talk about the ball game.’ Then cut it off.”

And if that doesn’t work, you could always bring the subject back to a work matter (or worst case, start looking for another job!).


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Skilled Trades Will Enable The Future Of Canada’s Economy

Posted on 19 January 2017 by admin

Nobina Robinson

Policy thought leader on Canadian innovation, higher education and skills

 Canada seems perpetually fixated on the “knowledge economy,” no matter the political stripes of the government in power. Budget 2017 will roll out the Innovation Agenda, where significant funds will be dedicated to supporting “super clusters” around the likes of aerospace, cyber security, or nanotechnology.

Policy-makers wish to prepare job markets for disruptions that will stem from automation, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and the industrial internet. The skills for the future? If you believe the pundits, they are coding, sales talent, and everything digital. Is Canada’s economy of the future a place where the skilled trades will survive, let alone thrive?

This is an important question, especially at a time when the trades are facing a demographic deficit — the number of those about to retire far exceeds the number of new entrants into these vitally important professions. If our economy is shifting, how much emphasis do we really need to place on filling predicted shortages and attracting more young people to the trades?

The answer might surprise you. In Canada’s future economy, the skilled trades are going to matter more than ever. So we need to make significant and sustained investments in attracting our best and brightest talent to these professions, the same way we do for the best and brightest knowledge workers.

Why the skilled trades will matter more than ever in the future.

While we focus so much on the digital space, we can’t forget that Canada is about to make massive investments in physical infrastructure. The newly proposed Canadian Infrastructure Bank will see our federal government put up $35 billion dollars in hopes of attracting at least four to five times that amount from the private sector — global or national, to be invested in large infrastructure projects across the country.

Yet, it’s unclear whether or not we have the human capital capacity to complete these projects at present. Some estimate that within ten years Canada will face a shortage of 250,000 individuals in the construction trades alone. If Canada is going to invest heavily in infrastructure, we must ensure we make equally strong investments in training talent that is going to build it.

We may also see a push for Canada’s infrastructure of the future to be “smart.” That is, built with integrated information and communication technologies (ICT) and internet of things (IoT) capabilities. For example, streets could be embedded with sensors that speak to smartphones optimizing commute times and traffic flow. Making cities smarter is going to require much skilled talent: heavy equipment operators, electricians, and concrete finishers. And these folks are going to have to be able to collaborate with other professionals from a range of disciplines: engineers, architects, and environmental scientists.

The digital environment

Be it through the adoption of automated technologies, moving our work to virtual spaces, or the increased use of cloud based software, our work environments are increasingly digital. The skilled trades are inherently physical, but we can’t forget that we are flesh and blood and live in a built environment. The digital and the virtual don’t preclude a built environment. For example, the servers needed to house cloud-based information require the construction and maintenance of physical servers. With the trends toward big data, one can imagine the needs for such spaces are going to intensify.

Microsoft is in the midst of testing the feasibility of housing large data centres underwater. At the same time, Google is building floating data centres in San Francisco Bay on specially fitted barges. These projects, and others similar, require the use of underwater welders, electricians, and HVAC technicians. The digital always requires the support of the physical, so as our digital needs grow, so too will the need to have a skilled workforce in place that can build and maintain the accompanying infrastructure.


Our changing energy future

The future of energy in Canada is green. Non-renewables will be extracted through less carbon-intensive means, and the use of renewables is quickly expanding. A diversifying energy landscape will create intensified demand for skilled labour. Take for example two renewables that are gathering traction: solar and wind.

Solar is officially the world’s cheapest form of energy and start-ups are quickly emerging to capitalize. SolarCity, an American firm owned by Elon Musk, specializes in solar energy services — one of their most recent conceptions is an entirely solar roof. The expansion of similar projects to Canada will see the creation of skilled labour demand across the whole value chain — from the production solar cells, to wiring, to installation.

For its part, wind could fulfill 20 per cent of Canada’s energy needs by 2025; this growth of wind energy in Canada will increase demand for wind turbine technicians, electricians, and crane operators. Further, even our traditional energy economy will support job creation in the near future. Oil prices are mending, and with recent approvals for new pipeline projects the demand for skilled trades is certain to rise.

Canada is well positioned to stake its claim as an innovation leader. However, even as our economy shifts to embrace emerging technologies, digital spaces, new infrastructure, and renewable energies, have we overlooked the integral role the skilled trades will play in all of this industrial change?

Through the onslaught of articles about automation and digitization of work, it is worth remembering that we haven’t left the physical world, at least not yet. More importantly, it will be the trades professions that can enable the future of work — here and around the world.

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