Evaluation of Employer's Needs in Trades Apprentices, Co-op and OYAP
Due to the ever increasing changes within industry, technology and the shift in our global social structure, local industries have a serious concern as to whether or not our Trades Industries can sustain these new demands and changes, and whether or not we are equipped to handle them. For this reason the Eastern OntarioTraining Board felt compelled to examine and assess the situation in our five counties (Prescott-Russell, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry [SD&G]).
The objective of this research was to fully examine and analyze the following areas of concern:
The status of trades people within our community
The status of Apprentices within our community
Examine Employer's Needs
How much of a demand is there for integrating Co-op and the Ontario Youth Apprentice Program (OYAP) into our businesses and schools?
This research was conducted during the period of February 2002 - April 2002. All information was retrieved by the same consultant, from discussions held with 135 trade companies who hire trades people throughout our five counties. In all cases the consultant made either direct personal contact, or conducted the interview via telephone. All information and comments were recorded, collated and analyzed, the results of which are presented in the following pages and also in a detailed database, which can readily be made available upon request.
For a complete list of participants see appendix A
Results & Analyses:
Breakdown of Trades Interviewed
A total of 135 businesses with a combined total of 483 licensed trades people and apprentices were interviewed. The following is a breakdown of the type of industries that participated and the percentage that they represent:
|Other Types:||7%||(10 businesses)|
The regional breakdown of these companies is as follows:
Tradesmen Data (Appendix B)
From the 135 companies interviewed, it was established that there was a total of 383 licensed trades people, of which 53% (202) are between the ages of 40-55, 38% between the ages of 25-40, and 9% between the ages of 18-25.
Figure below illustrates the percentage difference of the three age groups (Trades people)
Apprentice Data: (Appendix C)
From the 135 companies interviewed, it was established that there are a total of 100 apprentices, of which 57% (57) are between the ages of 19-25, 29% between the ages of 25-35 and 14% between the ages of 35-45.
Figure below illustrates the percentage difference of the three age groups (Apprentices)
Levels of Theoretical Training: (Appendix D)
The number of respondents that answered this particular section of the questionnaire was low. Of the number that did participate, our findings resulted in 157 individuals showing some level of theoretical training. All subsequent percentages were calculated on that specific number.
The results are as follows:
|Basic Training||25% (40)||Intermediate Training||20% (31)|
|Advanced Training||28% (44)||No Training||27% (42)|
The illustration below shows the numbers trained for Basic, Intermediate and Advanced levels of theoretical training.
Employer's Needs/Co-op & OYAP (Appendix E)
Four areas were examined in this section of the questionnaire:
- Is the employer looking for new Apprentices?
- Does the employer need recruitment assistance?
- Would the employer consider using students from a co-op program?
- Would the employer consider trying out individuals who have signed up in OYAP?
The results are presented as a percentage in the table formatted below:
|Looking For Apprentices?||33%||56%||11%|
|Need Recruitment Assistance?||30%||55%||15%|
Out of the 33% that said yes they were looking for apprentices; the actual number of apprentices they would hire is 16.
Regional Breakdown of Companies Looking to Hire Apprentices
The above findings were further broken down into regional results as shown below:
Respondent's Commentary (Appendix F)
- Many of the respondents felt that there was not enough money in the Trades field and that young people would have to be crazy to get into this field as tools cost too much money, wages are too low while working as an apprentice, while the working conditions usually bad. (12%)
- It was also evident from these comments that many of the respondents would like to see "specialty" courses in the Colleges, particularly in the Electronics field.
- They would also like to see the High Schools play a more active role again, by having some type of in-house training (quality shops) re-introduced to the school system.
- They would like to interview the student themselves, before starting them on any program.
- A good number of the respondents would like to have local students only participate in their co-op program. (6%)
- Many of the participants were already involved in some type of co-op (19%)
- The aging workforce was of course another area of concern to numerous employers as they see the accumulation of years of experience and aging workforce.
The City of Cornwall is representative of the majority participation (63%) of all employers surveyed along with the automotive industry (54%) within the Trades sector.
Our findings indicate that there may well be some issues arising in the future, particularly over the next 10-15 years. The latter is evidenced by the high proportion of tradesmen approaching retirement and thus leaving the workforce (53% - 202). As this majority of the workforce retires there will be a crisis an insufficient amount of adequately trained employees will be ready to replace them.
Initially, the high percentage of apprentices in the 18-25 age (57%) group appears impressive, however considering that there are only 100 apprentices currently employed within our surveyed group, means we have an alarmingly small number (57) to maintain and support a healthy trades industry, or to provide sufficient replacements as the older trades people retire from the workforce. Also of this 57%, one must also take into account that a certain portion of them will very likely drop out of this field entirely, particularly because there are some concerns with pay levels, work conditions and the cost of tools. (See respondent's commentary, above).
In addition to these figures, our findings also show that 56% of the respondents are not looking for new apprentices, while only 33% said yes they are looking for new apprentices. 49% of the respondents also indicated they were not interested in receiving recruitment assistance.
The Level of Training throughout all the industries appears to be well balanced but does appear to need improvement as some apprentices have received no theory training yet.
On the other hand the Co-op program and the OYAP program both show a healthy interest from the employer's perspective and therefore one would assume that it is imperative to continue developing and improving these two avenues. It would also be interesting to examine statistically, how many co-op students actually succeed in becoming apprentices. The possibility of exploring other avenues to entice "would-be" apprentices could also be examined, particularly looking to see if there is any substance to the allegations that the work conditions are poor, pay is low and the cost of tools is too high.
At a Glance - Table of Percentages
|Industries:||Automotive 54%||Electrical 12%|
|Industrial 27%||Other 7%|
|18-25 yrs||25-40 yrs||40-55 yrs|
|% Trades People||9%||38%||53% (202 Tradesmen)|
Level of Training
|Basic 25%||Intermediate 20%||Advanced 28%||Unlicensed 27%|
Employer's Needs/Co-op & OYAP
|Need For Apprentices?||33%||56%||11%|
|Need Recruitment Assistance?||30%||55%||15%|
For additional information, please contact the Eastern Ontario Training Board at (613) 932-0210.