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Skilled Trades – Things You Should Know


Elaine Holding on May 4, 2011 in Advice for Business Owners

On May 19, the Halton Apprenticeship Advisory Council will host the 11th Honour Roll Breakfast recognizing companies that demonstrate leadership in advancing skilled trades. I encourage you to attend. The keynote speaker will be Tom Rand, a leading Environmental Sustainability Expert and Venture Capitalist. Rand is author of “Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit: 10 Clean Technologies to Save Our World” and the co-developer of The Planet Traveler, a project that claims to be the “greenest” hotel in North America. For more information, please call Ali Fraser at 905-634-2575 ext. 28 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or register online at www.hiec.on.ca/haac.

I have been Chair of the Halton Apprenticeship Advisory Council since its inception in 1998 under the leadership of the Halton Industry Education Council. The focus of the Halton Apprenticeship Advisory Council (HAAC) is to foster growth of the skilled trades in this area. It has been effective in breaking down barriers and connecting community, business, education and government to work collectively. An outcome of early discussions was the creation of Apprenticesearch.com, an award-winning site that connects employers and apprentices across Ontario – and it was developed by the folks at Halton Industry Education Council.

Last week, Glen Hodgson, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist with the Conference Board of Canada presented his economic forecast at the Burlington Economic Development Corporation’s breakfast. He warned that Canada will be facing a labour shortage as soon as 2013. He said that the shortage will cause upward pressure on wages and coupled with a strong loonie, will push employers to become more productive. For Ontario, Burlington and its surroundings, Hodgson said the most important factor will be the slow revival of the American economy, the destination for so much of what is produced here.

Coupled with an aging workforce, if you don’t have a strategic workforce plan in place, it is time to step up now.