Monthly Archives: February 2022

Labour Market Information – Skilled Trades

man with orange vest looking at building siteLiteracy Ontario Central South (LOCS) is lucky to have two planning boards in our region, the Centre for Workforce Development (CFWD) and the Workforce Development Board (WDB).

Both organizations can provide you with current, local Labour Market Information (LMI), including hiring demands, skill requirements and/or wages for any career you are considering, including a skilled trade.

For example, if you are thinking about entering a skilled trade, you can contact them to find out what the job demand is for that specific trade in your region.

LMI Help Desks:   

  • If you are interested in working in City of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton, Northumberland or Peterborough, contact the LMI Help Desk at the WDB to ask for information about the labour market. 
  • If you are interested in working in Hastings, contact the LMI Help Desk at the CFWD to ask for information about the labour market.

In-Demand Trades

Over the years the planning boards in our area have tracked and documented in-demand trades.  This list has included Automotive, Electrician, Truck and Coach Technician, Hairstylist and Plumber.  We have also seen a demand for Truck Drivers, Early Childhood Educators (ECE), Cooks, Bakers, Carpenters, Heavy Equipment Operators, Automotive Service Technicians, Electricians, Millwrights, Heavy Equipment Mechanics, and Construction Trades Helpers, Labourers.

If any of these trades interest you, contact the LMI Help Desk at either the CFWD (Hastings) or the WDB (City of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton, Northumberland and Peterborough) to ask them for the most up-to-date Labour Market information. 

Edge Factor Videos

You can also learn about careers by watching Edge Factor videos developed in partnership with the planning boards:

This is a direct link to the manufacturing, construction, tourism, healthcare and agriculture videos made in our region: Local Virtual Workplace Experience Videos.  

Other Career Options

The CFWD and the WDB are not limited to answering questions about skilled trades.  They can answer your labour market questions about any job.  

You can also visit their websites for information:

The Centre for Workforce Development (CFWD)

The Workforce Development Board (WDB)

You can also contact your local employment services office for help making a career decision.


Skills Ontario App

Thinking about entering a skilled trade? 

young woman in red shirt with cell phoneThe new Skills Ontario App is a good place to start. 

It is free, easy to download and easy to use.  It includes a Popular Careers section where you get examples of jobs such as Web Designer, Chef, Baker, Computer Aided Drafting and 3D Digital Game Artist.  You will also find links to events and links to other services.  

Download the App from the Skills Ontario site.

The Quiz

This app includes a quiz.  When you finish answering the questions in this short quiz, you will get a list of careers in the trades that are the best match for you, based on your answers. 

You are also provided with information about the pay range as well as a brief job description, job responsibilities, information about where people in this trade work and the education required to work in these trades.

This quiz is a great starting point for anyone thinking about a career in the trades.

Next Step

Young man with cell phoneYour next step may be doing a skills assessment or further career research.

Our adult training programs can help by offering you an in-depth assessment. Contact us if you are interested in learning more about the skills you have that you will bring to a skilled trade.

There may also be skills you want to develop further before starting your training or registering as an apprentice.  For example, you can contact us if you would like to learn about how to use technology such as apps.  To learn more about the computer training that will help you prepare to work in the trades, visit our ‘Computers and the Skilled Trades‘ post. 

You may also want to take the results of your Skills Ontario quiz to your local employment services office where you can also discuss and explore your options further.

What is Skills Ontario?

Skills Ontario is an organization that has been promoting skilled trades and technologies in Ontario for over 30 years.

Their mission is “to champion and stimulate the development of world-class technological and employability skills in Ontario youth.”  They are “building Ontario’s skilled trades and technologies workforce.”  They want to “enable and empower all youth, including women and Indigenous youth, to consider a career in the skilled trades and technologies.”  Learn more at the Skills Ontario website.

Note: Although the focus is Ontario Youth (up to age 29), anyone can use this app and the information and resources on their website.

If you would like more information about next steps, contact an adult training program in your area.  You can also reach out to Carrie with your questions: .


Computers and the Skilled Trades

hands holding a tabletThere isn’t a job that hasn’t been touched in some way by digital technology, and this includes the skilled trades. The type and level of computer skills needed will vary depending on the trade, however, it is safe to say at the very least, basic computer skills are necessary.

The Ontario Government offers a way to search job profiles.  Enter a job you are interested in and open the profile.  These profiles are full of great information. 

If you select the heading “In Demand Skills and Knowledge” you will find a list of skills needed for success in the job.  It is common to find Computer Literacy listed in the ‘Foundational’ column for most jobs.  You will also find a basic list of the software commonly used on the job.  Below is an example of the skills section of the profile for Welders and Related Machine Operators

List of skills for welding

Skills needed by Welders and Related Machine Operators

Training Programs

Adult training programs prepare people for success at work and in any ongoing education or training programs they take.  This training includes computer training for people who are already registered as an apprentice or those thinking about starting an apprenticeship. 

Computers and Software

Adult training programs can help you develop the computer skills you need for success in a college program.  If you search for college level programs online, you will find computer and software skills are often listed. For example:

  • the Heavy Equipment Operator at Fleming lists Computer Skills as being important for students in this program.  They also list the technology required: “Students are required to have their own computer, Internet access, webcam and microphone.”  It is safe to assume that this hardware is needed to attend online classes.
  • the Welding program at Loyalist has Computer Applications as a first semester course.  The computer applications course includes “Outlook (email), PowerPoint, Word and Excel.” 

Online Learning

Online learning is becoming increasingly common in the trades.  For example, at least part of most college courses are offered online.  Adult training programs can help you prepare for success in taking computer-based training.  This may include:

  • using PDFs, videos and online documents
  • keyboarding, creating online accounts, logging in and moving around a course, uploading assignments, posting comments, asking questions and completing online tests and quizzes.
  • using video conferencing software to attend class.  


At work and in class you will likely be required to use technology to communicate with others. Our programs can help you develop these online communication skills.  This includes:

  • using smartphones, tablets and computers to send emails and texts to instructors, other students, co-workers, supervisors, customers and suppliers.  


At work and in class you will need to be able to use the Internet and Search Engines to research information and resources.  In our programs you will have the opportunity to develop your online research skills.  This includes:

  • finding things such as how-to documentation, videos, manuals and information about products and services using websites, blogs, discussion forums and social media.


Our programs can also provide you with support as you develop your skills downloading and using applications (apps).  Apps are common in the trades.  Some apps are designed specifically for a trade or a company.  Other apps are general and can be used by people in any trade.  This may include using apps for:

  • mapping, for calculating, converting and measuring, for estimating, for logging/tracking hours, for ordering, managing projects, managing documents and taking notes, as well as for tool tracking and planning.

Speaking of apps: Visit our blog post about the Skills Ontario App that will help you learn about careers in the trades.

Virtual Reality

It is helpful to have experience using Virtual Reality since many trades are now using Virtual Reality Simulations, as well as Augmented Reality to provide training.  Many employment service organizations have a Virtual Reality option available to anyone interested in a career in the trades.  Virtual Reality is a great way to experience a trade before making a career decision.  To see some Virtual Reality Simulation options for the trades, visit CareerLabsVR.  To learn more about how you can book a Virtual Reality experience, contact an employment services office in your area.  

Computers in the Trades – Some Examples

In addition to software, online communication, research, apps and online learning, there are other computer skills needed in the trades.  We have provided a few examples below.  

The list below represent some of the in-demand careers in the trades in the LOCS area.  We have used labour market information from the Centre for Workforce Development and the Workforce Development Board. For a detailed list of in demand trades, visit our Labour Market Information post.

Beside each occupation there is a number.  You can click on this number to learn more about the career at the National Occupational Classification site. 

  • “The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is Canada’s national system for describing occupations.  You can search the NOC to find where an occupation is classified or to learn about its main duties, educational requirements”. 
  • The NOC is currently moving from a four to a five-digit code.  You may find the four-digit code still used in some places. 

Bakers (63202)
Calculators, Point-Of-Sale systems, spreadsheets (for planning and ordering).  There is also software to help with ingredient calculations and for managing costs.

Carpenters (72310)
Calculators, word processing, spreadsheets, billing and accounting software, estimating software and computer-controlled layout equipment (measuring tools).

Cooks (63200)
Calculators, spreadsheets, word processing, database, digitally controlled kitchen equipment, Enterprise Digital Assistant and restaurant management software.

Heavy Equipment Operators (73400)
Calculators, GPS, electronic scales, word processing, spreadsheets, database and laser grade control systems, displays and systems-monitoring controls.

Industrial Electricians (72201)
Spreadsheets, database, graphics software, project management software, handheld electrical equipment for electrical readings.  They also install and service ethernet and process control systems.

Plumbers (72300)
Calculators, word processing, database, spreadsheets, accounting software, CAD – Computer Aided Design, online plumbing software and project management software.

Transport Truck Drivers (73300)
Calculators, GPS, database, fleet tracking/management software and handheld electronic logbooks.

Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanic (72401)
Calculators, database, diagnostic equipment and handheld devices.

Construction Trades Helpers and Labourers (75110)
Calculators, database, digital multimeters and topographical information.

Electronic Service Technicians (22311)
Calculators, word processing, spreadsheets, database, load and configure software, programs for simulation purposes, diagnostic tools – oscilloscopes, application specific measurement and diagnostic software and apps to run diagnostic tests.

Hairstylists and Barbers (63210)
Calculators, Point-of-Sale systems, digital cameras, database, salon management software, accounting software and industry apps.

If you would like more information about how you can develop the computer skills you will need for success in an apprenticeship, contact an adult training centre in your area or reach out to Carrie Wakeford or at (705) 313-4383.

The Second Apprenticeship Connection

The Apprenticeship Connection green logo

Black and white image of work bootsIssue #2 of The Apprenticeship Connection newsletter is now available. 

This newsletter includes information about apprenticeship in Ontario.  It explores how Ontario’s adult training and skills development organizations support individual apprentices and the broader skilled trades community.  This issue focuses on apprenticeship training, including stories of successful partnerships.

Feel free to forward this newsletter to others who might be interested.  

Issue #1 is available in The Apprenticeship Connection post.

If you would like more information about how Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) services play a critical role in the apprenticeship system, contact Carrie at or call (705) 313-4385.