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Make it a Law: Trades and Military Careers Should be Taught in Schools

With 1.8 Million youth in Canada not working, are schools failing to help kids get into the workforce? The state of Colorado just passed a law that says Career Counselors have to present Trades and Military careers to students, by 9th Grade. Do we need a law to ensure STEM, Skilled Trades, and Military career paths are presented to kids across Canada?
A law telling teachers what to do in Canada is pretty controversial, and past efforts by a teachers union to steer kids away from Military careers was hit with a backlash in British Columbia. The problem is with thousands of Canadian youth giving up on employment on a monthly basis, are we presenting all the options available to them, early enough?
We know that women are way underrepresented in Science and Engineering Roles in Canada, but the problem is even worse when we look at skilled trades. Granted there are improvements that need to be made in many workplaces, but if students are never shown the highlights of a career path at a young age they will not engage and aspire to career paths.
“They are not sending their best” was one of the most quoted lines of the US Presidential Election. We might have to start questioning if the same can’t be said of schools, sending students down trades paths. A 2014 report funded by the Canadian government stated that completion rates for apprentices were close to 40%.
If good students learn early in school about career paths that excite and engage them, they are more likely to succeed. There are some very successful programs in schools like Victoria School Districts TASK program that exposes students to construction trades and Windsor students that can experience a co-op program with the Armed Forces.
With all the demands placed on teachers and school with large classes, technology, behavioural issues, special needs and parents, demanding career counselling on Military and Trades is a big ask, but at least it isn’t an order like south of the border.

Kael Campbell is President and Lead Recruiter of Red Seal Recruiting Solutions, a company providing recruitment services in mining, equipment and plant maintenance, utilities, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. When he is not recruiting, Kael spends as much time as possible with family in the great outdoors and on the water. He volunteers his time as a Board Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization of Victoria and a Member of Victoria Marine Search and Rescue. You are invited to subscribe to our employer newsletter or submit your resume.