We have the training know-how and specialized instruction to successfully prepare people for work in the skilled trades, and with employers placing a greater emphasis on health and safety, more people are seeking certifications, or courses to build their skills.

For Brad Bent, Director of Training for the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC), an independent labour union that provides training and certification to more than 41,000 individuals every year, it’s about becoming more employable. “For some people, skills training is about getting a good paying job, as opposed to not one at all,” he says. “On the work site, there are some people that don’t have certain qualifications, but you want to be the person that’s says, yes I can do that, because you’ve had the training.”

While some students are new to the trades and ask which courses will make them more employable, others are looking to advance their careers, with training available for those taking on supervisory roles or managing projects.

Training for the new and veterans

Training providers work closely with industry partners, so programs and course materials can be tailored to meet the requirements of the workplace. “We want to have qualified, safe, and productive workers, and we want them to come home safe from work at the end of the day,” says Bent. “That’s the value we can offer industry.”

Despite the slow-down in some sectors, Bent says people shouldn’t delay building their skills, so they are always ready to work. One of those taking additional courses through CLAC, and preparing herself is Stephanie Walker, a 31-year old welder from Edmonton.

“We want to have qualified, safe, and productive workers, and we want them to come home safe from work at the end of the day,” says Bent. “That’s the value we can offer industry.”

“With the slowing oil and gas sector, I was recently laid off from my welding job,” says Walker, “but I’ve just taken seven courses, including additional welding certificates, general constructions safety, and falls prevention, so I’m in a better position when a new job comes along.”  

Skilled to seize future opportunities

Walker was a welder for 12 years before being laid off, and was introduced to the trades and welding when she was in high school. Some apprentices commented how good she was. She decided it was something she’d like to do as a career.

“Safety in the industry is huge. Many companies aren’t getting business if they don’t have rigorous safety programs,” says Walker. “The training and courses are very useful, because they make me confident on the job site.”