Trades are the future

Looking for a good career with lots of openings, look no further than the construction industry.

The 2019 Site Based Carpenter Foundation Program at Okanagan College is teaching trades that are in high demand and will be even more so in years to come.

The college has teamed up with Keith Construction for a home for learning where in-class learning is matched with actual construction on a home.

Teresa Kisilevich runs the OC program and she said the duplex being built at The Rise is the 60th home for learning project the college has done.

“The students are learning everything from the ground up,” said Kisilevich. “Every project is a little bit different, but these students have had a great experience. It really combines their workshop learning, their school learning with here on the job site.”

Ken Dahlen, with Keith Construction, said the demand for skills tradespeople of all fields is high and will just get higher.

“We have been struggling for the past five or six years. We just can't find enough young employees,” said Dahlen. “You don't get into the industry without some sort of education now.”

Dahlen said the province has mandated homes be net zero by 2030, so he expects a boom in renovation as people make their homes as energy efficient as possible.

“We need skilled trades. The renovation market is going to keep growing and it will be larger than new-home construction,” said Dahlen, adding research has shown up to 40,000 people are expected to retire from trades over the next decade.

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