Welcome to Apprenticeship Spotlight! We are hosting a new segment in our newsletter to elevate the conversation on apprenticeships and to continue to support skilled trades employers through these challenging times.
WPH has done a lot of research and projects with the focus on Apprenticeships and the skilled trades. There is a skills shortage in our communities coupled with an aging workforce in the skilled trades creating the perfect storm heading towards hiring crisis if we do not focus on solutions for skilled trades workers locally.
This segment will feature real life experiences of local skilled trades workers, employers, and apprentices; labour market information regarding skilled trades in our community; news and articles related to apprenticeships and skilled trades; and local initiatives that support the skilled trades and apprenticeships in Hamilton.
Spotlight Profile: Justin Decosemo's Story
Justin is a welder by trade but currently works at Mohawk Apprenticeship Community Hub – and this is his spotlight on welding and the skilled trades.
Welding is great. It is something our communities are going to need skilled people for a long time. You can’t have a robot build custom fencing or a custom roll cage. It’s a job that you can count on and is in extremely high demand. The average age of Canadian welder as of 2017 was 56 - we need young people to get involved so the workforce continues and remained skilled.
I started welding about ten years ago and it was all by fluke. I wanted to be an iron worker. I went to Alberta for work and one of the welder’s helpers got hurt so I filled in for a few shifts and loved it. The guy I was covering for didn’t return to work so I managed to get his job and haven’t looked back since.
I spent 5 years between Alberta and BC and completed my training at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology to become a welder by trade. I returned to Ontario where I bounced around a few shops until I landed at Brents welding where I worked with school’s co-op departments and really enjoyed teaching. I ended up progressing my career into teaching and combining two things I really enjoyed, welding and teaching which leaves me at my career today -Professor of Welding and Coordinator Apprenticeship Welding.
Getting into the skilled trades does not mean you will be stuck doing the same job every day for the rest of your life if you don’t want to. I started in welding and now work at the college. Welding can lead to many other careers such as an estimator, working for the Canadian Welding Bureau as a tester, or becoming a project manager. By the time my career ended at Brents welding, I was second in command dealing with everything from planning, to hiring, to buying materials.
Welding and the skilled trades are extremely essential in our society now. The average wage of a welder has increased significantly in the last decade. New welders can expect a starting wage from $16-$20 per hour but if you expand to become a field welder you can make up to $100,000 per year. Of course there are a lot of risks and health and safety to consider in a skilled trade such as welding, but this is something the trades take very seriously.
From accidentally covering some welding helper’s shifts, I found that the trades were a great place to start my career and its progressed into supporting new students into welding at the Hub.
Coordinator Apprenticeship Welding.
905-575-1212 ext 5669