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January 18, 2017 3:46 PM

Polytechnics Canada: skilled trades vital for Canada's economy

In an op-ed for the Huffington Post on January 16, Nobina Robinson, CEO of Polytechnics Canada, said the skilled trades will be vital for the future of Canada’s economy.

According to Robinson, Canada is embracing digital environments, alternative energy solutions and large infrastructure projects -- leaving it “well positioned to stake its claim as an innovation leader" -- but questioned if Canada will have trades professionals to support and complete the projects.

“Some estimate that within ten years Canada will face a shortage of 250,000 individuals in the construction trades alone,” said Robinson. “... the trades are facing a demographic deficit -- the number of those about to retire far exceeds the number of new entrants into these vitally important professions.”

Robinson suggested the investment in attracting the “best and brightest talent” to the trades should be the same as the investment in attracting talent to support the knowledge economy: “Through the onslaught of articles about automation and digitization of work, it is worth remembering that we haven't left the physical world, at least not yet. More importantly, it will be the trades professions that can enable the future of work -- here and around the world.”

Robinson's op-ed is available on the Huffington Post

Conestoga is a provincial leader in trades and apprenticeship training and a member of Polytechnics Canada -- the voice of leading research-intensive, publicly funded colleges and institutes of technology.

The School of Trades & Apprenticeship delivers programs through campuses and training centres in Kitchener, Cambridge, Waterloo, Guelph and Ingersoll.

For more information, visit the Trades & Apprenticeship website

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