Survey Shows Many Canadians Lack Practical, Everyday Skills
OTTAWA, May 1, 2012
Results magnify the impact of Canada's critical skilled labour shortage
on daily lives
OTTAWA, May 1, 2012 /CNW/ - Skills/Compétences Canada, a national not-for-profit organization that actively promotes careers
in skilled trades and technologies, today released the findings of a survey conducted by Harris/Decima,
which has shown that beyond changing a light bulb or picking up a
hammer to hang up a picture, many Canadians have little to no working
knowledge of those everyday activities that require a skilled hand.
The survey reveals that almost half of all Canadians are not able to
complete basic skills including installing a faucet or replacing a
zipper without some help:
Almost half of Canadians (46%) admit they don't know how to install a
bathroom or kitchen faucet.
Almost half of Canadians (45%) can't replace a zipper in an item of
clothing; well over half of all men (63%) admit they can't.
About one in three Canadians (31%) aren't sure how to install a light
About a quarter of Canadians (28%) don't know how to change a flat tire;
almost half of all women (48%) say they can't.
One in ten Canadians (14%) have no idea how to turn off the water main
in their home.
"There's a serious underlying message here that many Canadians are
lacking basic, practical knowledge when it comes to completing everyday
skills, admitting they require help," said Shaun Thorson, CEO,
Skills/Compétences Canada. "Industries that depend on skilled trade
workers are key drivers of the Canadian economy contributing over 50%
of Canada's GDP. But the growing shortage of skilled trade workers is
not only a concern for industry - it is only a matter of time before
every Canadian will feel the impact in their everyday lives."
This month, Skills/Compétences Canada is hosting the 2012 Skills Canada National Competition, an Olympic-style, multi-trade and technology competition for young
students and apprentices. From May 13-16, more than 500 young students
and apprentices will gather in Edmonton to compete in over 40 skilled
trade and technology areas, ranging from construction, mobile robotics
and cabinet making, to fashion technology, mechatronics and aircraft
maintenance. The annual event attracts school groups and young
career-seekers who can take part in interactive Try-a-Trade® and Technology demonstrations, as well as employers and recruiters,
industry associations, labour groups, training institutes and
The Competition provides an opportunity for young Canadians studying a
skilled trade or technology to be tested against exacting industry
standards and their peers from across the nation, with hope of being
crowned the best in their chosen discipline. This year, competitors are
also vying for placement on Team Canada where they will participate in
the 2013 WorldSkills International Competition in Leipzig, Germany.
About the survey
The survey was conducted by Harris/Decima via teleVox, the company's
telephone omnibus, from April 12th to 16th, 2012. A total of 1,011
Canadians were surveyed. Results are considered accurate +/- 3.1%, 19
times out of 20.
About Skills/Compétences Canada
Skills/Compétences Canada was founded in 1989 as a national,
not-for-profit organization that works with employers, educators,
labour groups and governments to promote skilled trades and technology
careers among Canadian youth. Its unique position among private and
public sector partners enables it to work toward securing Canada's
future skilled labour needs while helping young people and aspiring
apprentices discover rewarding careers. Skills/Compétences Canada
offers experiential learning opportunities including skilled trades and
technology competitions for hundreds of thousands of young Canadians
through regional, provincial/territorial, national and international
events, as well as skilled trade awareness programs. Many programs
highlight digital and essential skills, which are crucial
qualifications in most careers of today. Headquartered in Ottawa,
Ontario, Skills/Compétences Canada is the Canadian Member organization
of WorldSkills International. For more information about
Skills/Compétences Canada visit www.skillscanada.com, or call 877-754-5226.