As a model for learning apprenticeship supports skills acquisition, personal development and industry need. The COVID-19 pandemic has required apprenticeship stakeholders to re-evaluate and adjust. Skilled trades employers, faced with significant future labour shortages exacerbated by the public health crisis, express a heightened need to connect with potential workers. Young people, facing record unemployment may be reluctant to acquire significant student debt, making the paid work experience and affordable post-secondary education inherent to apprenticeship more appealing than ever. Apprenticeship connects employers to a pool of diverse candidates including those under-represented in the skilled trades to fill their workforce requirements.
RECOVERY – As the Canadian economy rebounds from the global pandemic, many organizations are looking to harness lessons learned through adversity. Employers face unprecedented labour shortages and many apprenticeship stakeholders have found ways to help facilitate and support the filling of these gaps. Research that explores the key workforce trends impacting Canada’s economic recovery or programs that encourage diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces are the focus in this theme.
RESILIENCE – As a system, apprenticeship is inherently resilient, expanding and contracting according to economic conditions and cycles. Responsive skilled trades training partners have adapted processes and introduced new technologies to continue their work under COVID-19 restrictions and safety protocols. Are these changes here to stay? Under this theme, initiatives that feature new approaches to traditional on-the-job and technical training will be showcased.
READINESS – Initiatives that support skilled trades work-readiness are prevalent in every corner of the country. Pre-apprenticeship programs, essential skills training and exam support techniques are just a few of the program types that address barriers and challenges through a shift to solutions and supports. Strategies that are linked to apprentice candidate preparation, success and completion will be featured under this theme.