Ways That Teenagers Can Start Learning...

Ways That Teenagers Can Start Learning Trades

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

For teenagers, the world of work can often seem far away. However, the time to decide on a career can come very quickly, and it is often good to begin learning as soon as possible. This is especially true of the trades, which often require people to have certain skills with wiring, welding, or other tasks. Learning everything after high school can be a difficult task, possibly taking years longer than necessary.

However, high school students can begin early to learn what they need to know through programs that the provincial governments have established. If you are interested in pursuing work in the trades, you can already explore your options and begin to learn what you need to know.

Normally, students in high school might be able to take a few courses related to the trade they want to pursue. However, they often need to wait until after they have graduated to be able to do more than the basics. Now, the governments in several provinces are trying to make the transition from high school to the trades much easier with registered apprenticeship programs that allow students to begin to learn the trades while still completing their high school studies.

Alberta is one of the provinces helping to prepare teenagers for the trades with the Registered Apprenticeship Program. On-the-job training and work experience give students credits towards both high school and post-secondary apprenticeship programs. British Columbia’s Youth Train in Trades programs includes trade classes for high school students, while the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program includes courses for both Grade 11 and 12. Enrolling in one of these programs or something similar in other provinces can help students prepare for what they will need to learn after they graduate.

Official programs like these are very helpful, but not everyone can participate in them, whether because the programs are not available in their area or for another reason. However, it is still possible to begin preparing for work in the trades. Developing what are called “soft skills” can be an important first step. These are the kinds of skills that are important in any job, such as getting to work or school on time, being able to finish projects, and learning to work with people. With these skills as a basis for their work, teenagers can begin to learn the specific skills they need to know.

Getting to know people in the trades can also be a good way of preparing for a future career. Even if they are not working specifically in the same trade, they might have connections with others who can help mentor young people and give advice on what kinds of skills are useful for a career in a specific field.

Having mentors can also be useful when the time comes to find work. Employers often receive hundreds or even thousands of applications for jobs in their companies and sifting through all of them can be difficult. However, a recommendation from a friend or colleague might draw their attention to a particular applicant. If you find mentors with large numbers of contacts in their fields, you might find that you have a job even before you apply for one.

Even if the end of high school seems far away, you can already begin to learn about the trades. Whether you join an official program or find your own mentors, you can start to learn about the trades and see if they are a good choice for you.



Careers in Trades. “Youth Apprenticeship Programs.” https://careersintrades.ca/whats-an-apprenticeship/youth-apprenticeship-programs/.

The Conversation. “Canada Needs to Encourage More Youths to Pursue Skilled Trade Jobs.” https://theconversation.com/canada-needs-to-encourage-more-youths-to-pursue-skilled-trade-jobs-190205.

INEDA. “7 Reasons Skilled Trades May Be the Best Path for a Teen.” https://ineda.com/blog/2021/12/20/skilled-trades-for-teens/

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program. “Talking to Your Teen.” https://oyap.ca/en/parents/talking_to_your_teen/.

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