From September to December 2011, Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre (PQCHC) conducted an exploration of youth’s interest in the skilled trades and factors obstructing their access to careers in the skilled trades.
PQCHC expressed an interest in learning more about what low-income youth and their families, particularly those from newcomer and first generation groups, think about careers in the skilled trades. In addition we wished to determine what factors might be dissuading or preventing these youth from pursuing careers in the trades, and to identify which of the skilled trades and specific employers were offering the greatest prospect for future career opportunities in the skilled trades in the Ottawa area.
The exploration included the following activities:
- A critical review and appraisal of existing literature and existing trades-related youth employment programs in Canada
- A review of sector council, government and labour market information
- A series of in-depth interviews and conversations with skilled trades employers, trades professionals and various sector council staff members
- A series of interviews with the trades programs of the local colleges
- A number of focus groups with local area high school guidance counselors and teachers
- A number of focus groups with youth and parents
- A survey with a distribution to youth in several languages to reach the newcomer population
- A survey with a distribution to parents of teenagers and young adults (15-30) years
Here are the findings of that exploration.