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A Skills Shortage Solution

Skilled trades shortages are anticipated to grow as baby boomers retire. They are unlikely to be replaced by younger generations exposed primarily to computers at home and school.

Government and industry are now looking overseas for trades interested in making a new home in North America.

For example, a Job Expo was held in Belfast and Dublin, attended by 30 employers seeking bricklayers, framing carpenters, welders and other trades.

Another solution is right here in our communities.

We have vast numbers of students pursuing university degrees majoring in the humanities and sciences. These students also choose electives.

Many would enjoy practical electives in house-framing, welding and other skills. These skills would offer a more well-rounded education, and provide employable skills during the summer and immediately after graduation.

The students might even choose to pursue construction as a career.

We have trades schools and universities with the expertise to teach the skills and young people willing and able to learn.

All we need is a flexible education system that accommodates our changing society and economy.

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