Mohawk College camp to encourage tradeswork among teens

Ontario doesn’t have enough skilled trades-workers. The last generation full of millwrights, welders, carpenters, pipe fitters and other labourers are retiring. But young people don’t seem to want to fill their steel-toed shoes.

A Mohawk College summer camp is trying to change the stigma, and show kids that blue collar jobs aren’t only plentiful, they can also be fun and lucrative.

These kids are learning pneumatic circuits, part of the knowledge a millwright needs to tend the machines in a factory. This week they also learn the basics of things like welding and truck mechanics.

13-year-old Kameela likes making things. She might want to be a welder, not a career that interests her friends.

Raymond Dubosq has two sons working at his welding shop, but he’s desperately looking for more skilled labour.

He’s had job postings listed for months with no job applications.

In the next shop over, Tom McSevney’s Fabrication Shop has workers because he brought them aboard when they were in high school.

He recommends this long term approach, which comes with government grants.

Today’s labourers can live better than doctors, he says. they don’t have big school bills, or office overhead costs, they keep their money.