By: Paul Robillard VP/Hard Hat Hunter and Operations Manager of a mid-sized construction company in Canada
College/Trades Schools are the quickest route with well-structured curriculum that allows graduates to quickly find work in their field with an above average income. It’s time to respect what colleges and trade schools can provide to a student within a few short years — less debt, competitive wages/benefits and a fast track to home ownership!
I want to draw on my experience in creating solutions to the shortage. As a construction manager, I have personally gone to local high schools and have developed a relationship with co-op teachers. We have created 6 co-op job opportunities in the field of construction. They get filled immediately. The majority of students who complete co-op with us continue on when we hire them as summer students. When those co-op students enter trades school and graduate, we often hire them full-time.
We need more companies doing what we do each fall.
I would like to add, companies must take the responsibility of co-op seriously to ensure that students have all of required training, including first aid, fall arrest, etc. As well as ensure that they have proper safety wear, including boots. If possible, the company should pay this cost as it is an investment!