© 2020 netia.ca
Congratulations, graduates of the class of 2020 — you did it! This year, graduations around the world look a lot different as convocation ceremonies move online while students figure out how to navigate our current world under some pretty extreme circumstances.
First, I want to start with something positive. Your generation has the power to change the world. It’ll take hard work, some guts, and a little elbow grease, but I know you’ll accomplish some awesome things.
While we all hope things get back to normal soon, the world you’re graduating into is so much different than a year ago. Statistics Canada says that in the month of April, Canada lost upward of two million jobs — and the economic impacts of the pandemic both in Canada and globally are continuing to unfold.
Whether you’ve just finished high school, college, or university, the job market looks a lot different than it did back in January. This could have severely affected your plans. A lot of graduates want to take some time to travel, others want to jump right into the workforce. But so many fields have seen severe job losses — and some are feeling the hurt more than others.
So why am I painting such a negative picture? I don’t mean to, but I think it’s important to be realistic during these times. Whatever plan you had is likely off the table. Whether that’s just for now, or forever is up to you. Are you making a new plan?
If you are, I want to take a moment to shout out the trades. Maybe this wasn’t a career path you were thinking of, even a few months ago. But I think they’re worth a look. The trades remain a viable, necessary career path. We need our tradespeople to build our homes, our hospitals, our roads, and a lot more.
Are the trades recession proof? Not entirely — just like everyone else, our crew shut down at the beginning of the pandemic. Our crew is finally starting to get back to work after all our work sites shut down in March. However, certain trades will always be in demand. Even if we’re not able to run a full construction site, professions like plumbers and electricians will still be needed. Our homes still need maintenance, after all!
I was talking to my friend, Shaun Thorson about this, recently. Shaun is the chief executive officer for Skills/Compétences Canada, a program that’s all about promoting the skilled trades as a viable career. It’s something I’ve been involved in for years — and it’s a program that I love, because it makes our young tradespeople feel like absolute rock stars as they take the next steps in their career in the trades. Here’s what he told me about the importance of the trades during our “new normal.”
“When the world faced lockdown due to COVID-19, many of Canada’s skilled trade and technology professionals ensured our quality of life by providing us with daily necessities such as keeping the lights on, the water running, food on our tables, and keeping us connected. Now is the time for new graduates or those re-entering the workforce to consider a rewarding career in the skilled trades and technologies.”
The trades are a good career, no matter what. Recession or no, Canada is still facing a skilled trades shortage. We need more people to fill the void left by our current generation of workers as they retire. Now is a good time to get started on your journey in the trades.
Start researching technical programs that can teach you the know-how you need to do the job right. Look into programs like Skills Canada — a lot of events are shifting to online versions this year, you may even be able to take part right from your home!
None of us could have predicted what this year was going to bring us. To be honest, I’ve never spent this much time at home before — it’s been an adjustment period for all of us. We all have a responsibility to crush the curve as much as possible, so that we can return to life safely. Stay safe, stay home if you can, wash your hands, and wear a mask. I’ll see you soon.
To find out more about Mike Holmes, visit makeitright.ca