Canada’s Best Jobs: Top 10 Jobs in Skilled Trades released their edition of Canada’s Best Jobs 2014. This data was built from Statistics Canada, including jobs that had experienced growth over the past years, had a minimum median salary of $60,000 and employed at least 5,000 people.


Canadian Business used the following rubric for rating:

  • Employment Growth [25% of Score]
  • Median Compensation on a 40-hour workweek nin 2013 [40% of Score]
  • Change in compensation from 2007-08 to 2012-13 [10% of Score]
  • Projected Demand [25% of Score]


For more information, see Canadian Business’ 2014 Statistical Methodology.


With these statistics in mind, we can see how economical adjustments are beginning to align with Canada’s increased need for workers in the skilled trades, i.e. housing market continues to grow. With this sort of growth, it is evident that the skilled trades gap will continue to grow unless more is done today for tomorrow.


in our opinion these numbers look low for Western Canada, however it is safe to say that this is a fair average when looking at Canada nationwide.


See the top 10 jobs in skilled trades below:



Job Title Avg. Median Salary 5-Year Wage Growth

5-Year Job Growth

1 Electrical & Telecommunications Contractor




2 Longshore Workers




3 Heavy Construction Equipment Supervisor




4 Oil & Gas Well Operator




5 Construction Manager




6 Locomotive Engineer




7 Construction Trades/ Contractors Supervisor




8 Pipefitting Contractor & Supervisor




9 Power Line & Cable Worker




10 Industrial Electrician





With the anticipated growth throughout, many construction groups are going to require the right company to support your current and future projects. With the decline of quality workers, having the right talent agency is key to your own success.


Help us help you find the right people. Contact the Talent Group today.
To see Canadian Business’ Best Jobs ranked by City, click here.

Skilled Trades Is On The Rise in Canada

On October 23rd, 2014, the news broke that Canada is on the rise when it comes to Skilled Trades. announced the current internal staff changes, as well as some key facts to simply show the increase of Skilled Trades awareness in Canada.

Reza Moridi, Minister of Training Colleges and Universities made this statement:

“In just over a year, the Ontario College of Trades has already made significant progress, protecting consumers and giving skilled tradespeople decision-making power over issues that are important to them. By fulfilling our government’s commitment to support the continued success of the College by appointing a highly respected individual like former Secretary of Cabinet Tony Dean, we are once again demonstrating that we value the feedback of our skilled tradespeople and support fair, transparent and evidence-based review processes that will strengthen the skilled trades and consumer protection in this province.”


As noted, the following key facts exemplify the progression in this space within Canada. Although this is only the tip of the iceberg, its a start. Change comes from somewhere; it starts with the first step.

Progression Facts

  • More than 28,000 new apprentices registered in 2013-14, up from 17,100 registrations in 2002-03.
  • There are more than 150 apprenticeship trades in four sectors: construction, industrial/manufacturing, motive power and service.
  • The Ontario College of Trades is an independent, industry-driven governing body that protects consumers, and promotes and modernizes the skilled trades in Ontario.
  • Ontario is investing more than $165 million to support apprenticeships in 2014-15.

With the constant addition of new programs on the rise, we can continue to see the registrations multiply. Evidently, give that by 2020 we anticipate almost 1 million job openings, these apprenticeship registration need to start doubling, or even trippling year over year.


How young should parent/children discussions about career path begin?

Parents are the most influential individuals in the lives of their children and their career paths. According to Wall Street Journal, families that spend time together at the dinner table are likely to feel more connected, and parents will have a stronger influence on their children’s decisions. Moreover, the article discussed how stimulating conversations and regular family discussions can have a positive influence on children and their future career choices.

“Parents who are involved in the initial development of their children enable them to achieve higher grades and test scores and attain better attitudes and behavior,” says Syed Abidi, a renowned career counsellor in Lahore, India.

According to Syed, communication is key in establishing a trusting and open relationship with children, and it is recommended to start as early as possible. In fact, children between the ages of 10 and 14 are more likely to benefit from career counseling and advice from parents than children of any other age. This is largely due to the child’s stage in development which consists of important steps, such as developing interests, finding a passion, and thinking of future plans.

“Parents must approach children using the 4-Cs: connection, capability, counting and courage.” says Syed, “Connection is the sense of belonging; capability is the ability to take care of oneself; counting is the knowledge which makes a difference; and courage is the belief that you can handle what comes.”

Using the 4-Cs, parents can understand how to reach their children and encourage them to openly express their opinions, ideas, and hopes for the future. Part of the process is recognizing the types of questions and concerns that children might have regarding their futures. In particular, teenagers are concerned about choosing the right career path, finding their passion, and understanding how their passion can translate into a career. However, parents will not be able to address any of these concerns without establishing a safe environment in which the discussions can take place. For this reason, it is crucial that parents approach their children with understanding, empathy, patience, and even some humor. Without a softer approach to the subject, children are likely to back away and avoid opening up about these types of personal matters.

Once a line of communication has been opened, there are various ways in which parents can engage their children and start a discussion. In specific, parents can engage their children in conversation by sharing interesting news stories, personal stories from work, new discoveries, innovations, or inventions they read about, or even ideas that helped shaped their thinking as young adults. Regardless of the topic, parents will want to use discussions as a means of guiding their children throughout the decision making process when it comes to choosing an academic and/or professional career path.

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

Through discussions based on great ideas, parents can influence their children to follow their dreams or follow in their footsteps. However, this cannot be down without first establishing a trusting and open connection with their children. Whether “great ideas” are discussed at the dinner table or the living room, the most important thing is for parents to see the value in having discussions with their children about their future hopes and dreams.

How is the corporate mindset changing in regard to women working in the trades?

Now more than ever, the skilled trades industry is encouraging women to pursue careers in the skilled trades. However, the traditional stereotype of trades being only for men is discouraging the majority of women in Canada from getting involved in the trades.


“Being successful means working smarter rather than harder,” says Caroline Lambrechts, a site service technician at StairWorld. “The biggest barrier is the mental barrier.”


With a growing shortage of skilled trades workers in Canada, the shrinking numbers are being largely attributed to the gender imbalance that exists among skilled trades professionals. For this reason, colleges and government agencies across the country are developing initiatives to encourage more women to pursue jobs in the skilled trades.


“Women have been in the trades for a long time,” says Caroline, “but are only now becoming more visible, recognized, and thankfully, accepted.”


The government of Ontario is another major supporter of increasing the number of women in the skilled trades industry. According to the latest statistics, approximately 19 percent of apprentices are women, which indicates the number of women pursuing apprenticeships is increasing. To encourage more women to follow suit, the Women in Skilled Trades and Information Technology Training Program was designed in early 2014 for low-income women who are unemployed or underemployed. Funded by Ontario Women’s Directorate, this grant program provides gender-sensitive training both in the classroom and on the job for women who wish to be employed in the skilled trades. In specific, the grant program can be broken down into two streams:


  • Skilled Trades: This stream allows for women to benefit from pre-apprenticeship training; upon graduation, participants will become qualified to enter the skilled trades industry and pursue apprenticeship programs in the field.
  • Information Technology (IT): This stream allows for women to receive the preparation and training to enter the IT sector; upon graduation, participants will become qualified to obtain well-paying IT jobs and apprenticeships.

In addition, non-for-profit organizations such as Women Building Future (WBF) is an excellent example of how the skilled trades industry is encouraging women to become active members of the industry. The mission of WBF is to ensure the “economic prosperity for women through assessment, training, job placement, and job retention support.” Established in 1998, WBF has been supporting women who wish to enter the skilled trades industry for over a decade. WBF is also experienced in recruiting women into the industrial workforce, with a proven employment record of 90 percent. As a Social Purpose Organization (SPO) and registered charity, WBF is dedicated to helping women prepare for careers in the skilled trades, with particular attention given to those interested in working in construction. Moreover, WBF helps companies in the skilled trades industry understand that women are viable sources of skilled workers for the construction sector. At the same time, WBF is educating women on how to enter and pursue employment in the skilled trades industry.


Due to the contributions of the Ontario government and organizations like Women Building Futures, skilled trades women are gaining the recognition they deserve as valuable contributors in the industry. More importantly, these organizations are helping to drastically change the landscape for women in the skilled trades industry by closing the existing gender gap.



Ottawa Citizen

How safe is it to work in the Oil & Gas Industry?

When it comes to pursuing a career in the oil and gas industry, safety is generally the number one concern among young people and their parents. Although tough working conditions and hard labour are important parts of many jobs in the oil and gas industry, Enform is committed to ensuring a safe work environment for all industry professionals.


“We are working to continuously improve the safety performance of the upstream sector and strengthen the culture of safety for our workforce. Enform is working on behalf of the entire industry to ensure everyone is going home safely, every day,” says Cameron McGillivray, the president and CEO of Enform Canada.


Enform has been given the official title of “Safety Association for the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry in Canada.” The organization is dedicated to improving safety performance for the oil and gas industry, while providing customized training programs for industry professionals. Moreover, Enform helps to education oil companies on how to develop and reach their safety goals. Additionally, Enform supports the industry by sharing best practices and highlighting oil companies that have implemented effective health and safety management programs.


“Everything we do is dedicated to the continuous improvement of safety,” says Cameron. “By the very nature of our industry we are risk takers, but we know how to get the job done safely and without injury.”


Enform offers audit services to government agencies and partnering corporations to ensure provincial safety standards are met by all oil and gas companies in Canada. With the support of the following six oil and gas associations, Enform is also able to collect data used to track safety performance and monitor safety practices.

● Canadian Association of Geophysical Contractors (CAGC)
● Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC)
● Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)
● Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA)
● Explorers and Producers Association of Canada (EPAC)
● Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC)


Enform Offers Five Safety Programs

Out of 120 courses offered by Enform, these five safety programs receive the highest number of enrolments each year.

● H2S Alive(R): This one-day course is designed for workers who may be exposed to “sour gas” which is made of hydrogen sulfide. Students will also receive equipment training to ensure they are prepared for the workplace.
● Petroleum Safety Training (PST): This is an interactive computer-based program that uses video and audio lessons to teach workers about workplace safety.
● Well Service Blowout Prevention: This program is designed to provide safety training for oil rig operators, oil rig managers, production engineers, and supervisors of wellsites.
● General Oilfield Driver Improvement (GODI): This program teaches oilfield truck drivers about on-road and off-road safety as the goal is to reduce the number of driving-related accidents.
● Wildlife Awareness: This online course focuses on helping industry professionals understand the importance of co-existing safely with wildlife on and off the job site.


So how safe is it?

With the assistance and support of Enform, oil companies in Canada are working towards making the work of oil and gas industry professionals as safe as possible. Due to the numerous contributions made by Enform, the oil industry is quickly adopting a proactive culture of workplace health and safety.



The Talent Egg

University or College, which is a better investment?

In Canada, choosing between college or university is one of the toughest decisions facing soon-to-be graduated high school students. Although most high school students will be university bound, it may not be the best decision for their future professional careers. In fact, more students are being encouraged to pursue college-level studies due to the growing number of job opportunities expected to become available for college graduates in the coming years.

“Folks can make a lot more (money) by learning a (skilled) trade than they might with an art history degree, and this is true for students across North America,” stated President Barack Obama in January 2014 during a public address.

The Concerning Reality for University Graduates

According to the latest survey released by Statistics Canada, approximately 31 percent of Canadian employers believe that university is not preparing students for the “real world.” More concerning is the fact that over 50 percent of these survey participants reported having a difficult time finding qualified candidates for the jobs available within their organizations. This challenging task is the result of employers seeking candidates with job-specific skills, such as problem-solving, written and oral communications, and analytical skills, which employers do not believe university graduates possess.

Survey participants also discussed their reasons for employing college graduates over university-educated candidates. In particular, the university system in Canada was described as being “too accommodating” for students who wished to lazily get through their studies. In addition, survey participants reported believing university students were no longer investing in their studies for the purpose of obtaining employment afterwards. Instead, it was reported that employers believe more university students were completing their studies in order to satisfy the desires of their parents. Unfortunately, these negative opinions have significantly lowered the chances for university graduates to obtain jobs in their fields. More importantly, these educated job seekers will continue to be limited in regard to employment options, which means more university graduates will end up working in low-paying jobs unrelated to their fields of study.

The Growing Optimism for College Graduates

The results of the same survey have indicated a drastically different outlook for college graduates and college-bound high school students. In specific, more college graduates have found jobs in their fields or a related field after completing their studies than university graduates in Canada. This can be attributed to the fact that college graduates are able to learn the tangible skills needed to obtain field-specific job opportunities through skilled trades programs. More importantly, employers are seeking candidates who have acquired practical skills and hands-on experience through internship programs and work experience.

Currently, the skilled trades industry is seeing a steady growth in the job market as approximately 40 percent of new jobs will be created in the skilled trades and technology industries. Adding to this optimistic outlook is the estimated one million skilled trades jobs that will need to be filled over the next 15 years. As can be seen, the job market in the skilled trades industry is not only predictable, but it can also be considered “safe” for individuals who are concerned about obtaining employment after completing their post-secondary studies. Regardless of how much job growth occurs in the technology industry, the outlook for the future of the skilled trades industry is positive as skilled trades workers will always be needed for their practical skills and knowledge.

Here’s What Kenney Said

In Gatineau, Quebec on May 6th, 2014; the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minster of Employment and Social Development spoke at the Canadian Building Trades Conference. The topic of choice was Canada’s ongoing commitment to support apprenticeships and the skilled trades.

Minister Kenney noted that Canada’s post-secondary education system is the key to a prosperous future in the Skilled Trades and necessary to grow the Canadian economy.

At this conference, the Minister discussed the various Government of Canada initiatives to support Skilled Trades: grants for apprentices, the Canada Job Grant and introduced the Canada Apprentice Loan that was recently outlined in the Economic Action Plan (EAP) 2014.

He continued to highlight that EAP 2014 has ‘grinded the gears’ on increasing awareness of the existing financial supports available to apprentices. This new awareness will be targeted to those that are on technical training through the Employment Insurance program and a pilot project that will explore ways to allow apprentices to continue working while fulfilling the technical training requirements of their programs. Wow!

Besides the information, Minister Kenney announced over 1.2 million injection to Frontier College to integrate literacy and essential skills training in apprenticeship programs. This aims to help apprentices complete their training and trade certification.

A few Interesting facts provided by the Government of Canada:

In the construction sector alone, it is expected that Canadian companies will need approximately 300,000 new workers over the next 10 years.

The Canada Job Grant will help ensure that Canada has the skilled workforce it needs to help bridge the gap between the skills Canadians have and the skills employers are looking for.
EAP 2014’s Canada Apprentice Loan will provide apprentices in Red Seal trades with access to interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training to encourage careers in the skilled trades. It is estimated that at least 26,000 apprentices a year will apply for these loans.

[Source: Government of Canada]

A Brand New Low

According to the Globe and Mail recent post, the number of vacant Skilled Trades & Technical Roles will reach a new all-time-high number in less time. Previous statistics have said that by 2020 there will be 1 million vacancies, recent statistics suggest that by 2016 approximately 1.5 million vacancies will exist. Time to get a move on.


Mr. Harper in 2012 suggested that the growth and prosperity for the Canadian economy in this area is reliant on a challenge referred to as “people’s choices.” Can you guess what this means? The ‘people’ are students, and the choices are their future career paths.


It is unfortunate, however, many students have been mislead by the fact that someone must attend post-secondary education in order to obtain a fruitful life. Wrong. The skilled trades can offer an equally as bountiful lifestyle, if not more on average. The question now is where along this path of a student’s educational career has there been a fallout?


Noted in a recent Globe & Mail’s post, some would blame unqualified teachers for not making key subjects like science, technology, and math more fun and exciting. Without this “fun” the natural curiosity diminishes leaving subjects like this behind in the dust. Another obvious thought could be the societal expectations that parents have been placed within which ultimately are then pushed onto the students.


“You must go to University to get a good job,”

“Go to University or else you’ll be jobless.”


Someone who works within or has knowledge of Skilled Trades and Technical positions knows that this is entirely wrong and is far from the truth.


To wrap up, this skills shortage is the biggest challenge that Canada is facing and will be for years to come. There are solutions. The next step is just finding the right course of action and moving forward.

Provincial Government Invests 1M into Skilled Trades for High Schools

Over the next three years the provincial government is investing 1M to expand the New Brunswick Teen Apprenticeship Program. This program is designed to give high school students early training and employment in the skilled trades.

Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labor Minister Jody Carr said:

“This Year the program will expand to 28 high schools across New Brunswick and continue to grow each of the following two years”

and, “It is a great example of how our government is working with industry and high schools to connect young people to skills and jobs in New Brunswick.”

Students starting at the age of 15 will begin to experience a trade; gain three years of summer employment experience and earn credits towards graduation.  Not to mention, they will also finish the first level of their formal apprenticeship by the time they graduate.

Carr continued with, “This program is a key action item of our governmernt’s Labor Force and Skills Development Strategy 2013-2016.”

Through the next couple of years the pronvicial funding for the New Brunswick Teen Apprenticeship Program will be made possible through the Canada-New Brunswick Labor Marketing Development Agreement and the Canada-Newbrunsiwck Labor Market Agreement.

What does this mean for our Employers? What this means is that The Talent Group will not only be able to continue providing talent today, but also for years to come, as new generations of Skilled Tradesman and Tradeswomen break into the workforce, The Talent Group will be here to serve you.


Career Expo Comes to Burlington

The Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS) is holding a three day, hands on expo that is aimed at students from grades 7-12. The expo will attempt to convince youths and their parents that a university degree is only an option of many when it comes to building a successful career.

This expo will take place April 8-10 at the Mainway Recreation Centre, 4015 Mainway Dr.

The OCS Chief Executive Officer, Sean Strickland had the following words to say in a recent press release:

“We are facing a shortage of skilled labour in Ontario, which means students who learn a trade have excellent prospects of quickly establishing themselves in a viable, sustainable and honourable career”

“A skilled-labour shortage is a real threat to our long-term economic health.”

As we continue to feel the effects of a shrinking skilled trades workforce, more and more organizations are allocating their budgets to host events and campaigns. With government programs, expos like this one, and the motivated staff at The Talent Group, we can curve the projected decline in skilled trades workers.

Learn more about the Future Building 2014 Expo.

Contact The Talent Group to supporting your recruiting initiatives.