(File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / lisafx)

New report shows skilled trades work equals happiness

A 2018 study of almost 1,000 workers in the Skilled Trades reveals they are among the happiest workers in Canada.

The report, called Trading Up: Why the Future of Education in Canada Must be Skilled?, provides evidence for why careers in the Skilled Trades should be described has highly fulfilling in higher education conversations, especially given the country’s desperate need for skilled workers in the industrial sector.

“Compared to the general working population, Tradespeople are much more likely to have fun at work and to feel like they can be themselves. They also have more freedom to be an entrepreneur or work anywhere in the world,” says Project Director Dr. Jon Callegher of George Brown College. “But most importantly, they feel a much stronger sense of accomplishment and purpose.”

Dr. Callegher said this can’t be underestimated given the amount of time we spend at our jobs and our individual desire for meaning in life.

He hopes the report reaches immigrant parents, who are more likely than their domestic counterparts, to view jobs in the Trades as low status.

The report reveals that 64 per cent of tradespeople believe they have “really accomplished something worthwhile” through their work, compared with 47 per cent of the general working population. They are also more likely to report that their work gives them a “sense of success and achievement” (68 per cent vs. 49 per cent) and “a lot of satisfaction” (65 per cent vs. 48 per cent). Also, 60 per cent of tradespeople report “often having fun” while working, compared with 43 per cent of other working Canadians.

“But what parents—immigrants and domestic—may not realize,” say Callegher, “is that careers in the Skilled Trades are much less stressful and allow for greater work-life balance than jobs in other sectors, in addition to being secure and well-paying.”

Callegher’s research inspired a YouTube series called Job Talks.

“The response from educators and students has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Callegher. “It’s really captivating when you can see and hear the passion in someone’s voice when they talk about their work.”