I read all the gnashing and wailing and the pathetic attempts to pass the blame for the fact that Canada does not have enough journeymen trades people.
The BC Liberals, in particular, can stop looking anywhere else, because the buck stops with them. The concerted effort by Gordon Campbell to destroy the unions and the trades programs they supported goes right to the root of this problem.
As a young man, I attended trade school.
But in those days, it was different. Trades training was administered by the various trade unions, and they had a goal not only of training qualified apprentices and journeyman tradespersons, but keeping wages and benefits high – a good living wage so that people would want to do the training to acquire a good-paying profession.
Trades training now is either nonexistent or trains people to the minimum standards, so as to keep them non-union, with lower wages, to please the companies that don’t particularly care were they get workers from.
It is, as always, cheaper to bring workers from other places, such as China or Europe, but the fact is, European tradesmen don’t even want to come over here any more, as they have better wages and benefits at home.
Skills training and higher education is our federal and provincial governments’ first priority, no matter the cost, because in reality, it is not a cost at all, but an investment in the future of this country and truly the most gainful use for our tax dollars.
The truth is, these incompetents do not think or plan past the next quarter, and then after a decade of quarterly thinking, they wonder why everything is so screwed up.
Wayne Clark, Maple Ridge