We spoke to 175 apprenticeship stakeholders from across Canada. We engaged tradespeople, educators, employers, and other stakeholders in the automotive, construction, manufacturing, and food service sectors.
What we found is a generational divide. The Canadian trades workforce is aging at a faster pace relative to the workforce with a university degree. According to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, the retirement of older tradespeople and the declining labour force participation rate is expected to contribute to labour shortages in multiple sectors. Meanwhile, the number of new apprenticeship registrations has declined in recent years. Responding to these trends, several efforts are under way to recruit young people to the trades.
Young people entering the trades, however, are encountering classrooms and workplaces undergoing social and technological disruption. These changes are being exacerbated by outdated training and assessment models and by persistent structural barriers to digital upskilling.
Young newcomers to the trades are encountering challenges neither they nor their mentors have experienced before. As both apprentices and journeypersons adapt to these changes, they will need a range of digital and lifelong learning skills. Beyond technical skills, tradespeople will need a more extensive set of digital competencies, including creativity, collaboration, and information management, in order to adapt to the future of the trades and apprenticeships in Canada.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ Bridging Generational Divides: Advancing Digital Skills in Canada’s Apprenticeships and Skilled Trades Ecosystem | Future Skills Centre • Centre des Compétences futures