Canada is facing a massive shortage of skilled tradespeople in the next decade.
Many companies are already finding it difficult to get the workers they need.
One of the Okanagan’s best-known companies has decided to take a pro-active approach and actively encourage teenagers to consider the trades.
On Wednesday, the first group of youngsters took part in the program called Skilled4Success.
“And they are going to be working on tires, oil changes, mechanical,” says Ted Richards of Kal Tire.
The company has teamed up with Boys and Girls Clubs to encourage teens to consider learning a trade. Some don’t need much convincing.
“I’m really inclined. For my whole life my whole family has been in trades,” says student Shaydon Orr.
Tiffany Burian thinks she’d like to become a florist, but if this job shadow works out she may consider the trades instead.
“Possibly, if I like it. It depends on my experiences here.”
The company says nearly half its customers are women, and they like it when they see other women working on their vehicle. Management would love to hire more women to work on the shop floor.
Twenty years ago there were almost no women working in the trades, but they are becoming more common.
But job counselors are finding that it still isn’t easy to get many women to consider a job working with machinery.
Twelve different Boys and Girls Clubs, from coast to coast, are taking part in the Skilled4Success job shadow program.
Kal Tire is covering the entire cost of the program.