SkillsTrader Briefing: January 18, 2021

Awareness and recognition

  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Ranken Technical College have launched the Automotive Collision Engineering Pilot Program to attract and develop entry-level talent to fill essential roles within the collision repair industry. According to the TechForce Foundation, nearly 80,000 new collision technicians will be needed between 2020 and 2024.
  • While 3D printed homes made by robots could help address the housing crisis in California's Bay Area, tradespeople will still be needed to "lay foundations, assemble homes and put in plumbing and wiring." A McKinsey report says the transition to automation in construction will take decades.
  • According to Statistics Canada, new registrations and certifications in the trades saw large drops from February to September 2020 compared with the same period in 2019. Bill Ferreira, executive director of BuildForce Canada, described the figures as "a short-term blip" and said "I don't believe that there's any glaring fundamental challenges in the apprenticeship development system that were exposed by COVID-19."
  • The Building Industry Association of Central Kentucky says demand for skilled trades talent in the state is "as strong as it has ever been," particularly for electricians, plumbers, and HVAC graduates.

Education and training


  • GM Canada and Unifor have reached a tentative agreement that if ratified would have the company " invest $1 billion to transform its CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, to make commercial electric vehicles."
  • Ontario has issued 338 invitations to Express Entry candidates in the Skilled Trades stream , open to "candidates currently living in Ontario who have a minimum of one-year full-time work experience, or the equivalent in part-time work" in a recognized skilled trade.
  • The BC Centre for Women in the Trades has announced its Women Build BC conference will take place virtually on March 8 featuring opportunities for advancing women in trades.


  • Automakers in North America are scaling back production in response to a global shortage of semiconductors, "sending waves of disruption across the automotive industry."
  • Edmonton-based Jobber has raised US$60 million in new funding to help it grow. The company, which offers a software platform for home services professionals, already has "100,000 customers across 47 countries and 50 service segments, including cleaning, electrical repairs, landscaping, plumbing and more."

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