QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Jill Dunlop took home a big win on July 26th, 2018 when her skilled trades resolution was unanimously passed, proving widespread support from all political parties.
“There is a major and growing shortage of skilled employees to create and/or grow businesses and industries in Ontario” she reminded the assembly. “As we execute our plan to make Ontario open for business, we will need skilled labour to fill the jobs that a thriving economy will generate. Skilled labour jobs are good jobs and provide a meaningful, financially stable career path for many Ontarians, including young people, newcomers and individuals looking for a career change. [...]There is a negative stigma surrounding skilled trades workers, whereby people believe that skilled trades are not a career to aspire or to be proud of. […] Our youth deserve to be presented with as many career options as possible, and the skilled trades should be at the top of that list.” Dunlop stressed the need for immediate action to fill the skilled trades gap.
MPP Dunlop uncovered in her speech some very alarming statistics illustrating the skilled trades worker deficit. Only 10 percent of Ontario’s youth follow through with a career in the skilled trades and today, 20 percent of skilled workers are over the age of 54 and will be retiring in the next decade. Dunlop highlighted her first-hand experience in the skilled trades sector, with her family successfully operating a skilled trades business for over 60 years.
Through close collaboration with the Ministry of Education; the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities; and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, MPP Dunlop believes that her government can improve the existing skilled trades framework and provide meaningful solutions to reduce the negative stigma surrounding the trades and address the shortage of skilled labour. Dunlop stated that she believed the government should assume leadership in improving education, training, and job creation in the skilled trades sector.
Her family, staff, Simcoe North business owners, and mayors of her riding joined her at Queen’s Park to support her and show a united front on the issue.