TORONTO – To help meet the industry’s future needs for skilled employees, the ONTARIO MINING ASSOCIATION (OMA) has launched an Education and Outreach Committee. The new OMA group will work with SKILLS CANADA to encourage high school students to enter the skilled trades. Mary Ann Crichton of HATCH LTD. will chair the committee.
Skills Canada produces a “Skills Work” booklet for high school students, which profiles more than 35 of the most popular skilled trades and technology careers. The new OMA committee is working with Skills Canada to expand the next edition of the “Skills Work” booklet to include six career paths in the mining industry. Also, Skills Canada manages and operates an Olympic-style, province-wide technological skills competition with 54 areas of competition. The new OMA committee is working with Skills Canada to include some mining-related events in the technological skills competition.
One of the strengths of Skills Canada is the young people it hires as liaison officers who go into the schools and make presentations to students to increase their awareness of career opportunities in the skilled trades and technologies. The OMA will be helping to support one of these liaison officers, one of whom has an office in Sudbury, who helps students recognize skilled trades opportunities as a first career choice.
More than 50% of skilled trades personnel are expected to retire by 2018, compared with 30% for all occupations, according to the OMA. It is estimated that 65% of all jobs in Ontario require some post-secondary education yet only 50% of high school graduates to on to college, university or skilled trades.
Readers may contact the OMA at 416-364-9301 or through its website at www.OMA.on.ca.