• 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • Denis Trainor
    February 09, 2012 - 01:34

    From what I've been reading things in NL having changed in over 40 years. I left there in 1969 for the same reason. I had done a Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Apprenticeship Course and was in my last year when I got laid off . I paid Union Dues all the time I worked and for all the time that I was off. After 1 year with no work in my trade I decided to go West to B.C. and the rest is HISTORY. I retired 5 years ago after having worked 37 years in B.C. wthout ever being laid off. I still call NL. Home and I always will but as far as working in the province is concerned I think it is one of the worst in Canada to work as a Trades man.

  • mike
    December 23, 2011 - 14:58

    Theres no skilled trade shortage in Newfoundland. All lies and propaganda. Its just people fretting, in the next few years that there "could be" a shortage. In Newfoundland a Red Seal Journeyman can collect unemployment insurance untill it runs dry, without the goverment saying boo. Try that in Alberta. Within a month they will have you in for meetings and you'll be pointed in the right direction to get a job, and your benefits would be stopped. Do you really think the government would just sit by and give you money for months and months if there were a "skilled trade labour shortage" ?? I think not. Blame it on the unions all you like, their members are sitting home right now collecting EI.

  • Max
    December 21, 2011 - 19:02

    I read this article with great interest , and although not an apprentice myself, I have two brothers who are retired Electricians and a son who is struggling to fulfill the requirements of Newfoundland's Electrical Apprenticeship Program. The comments made by a number of previous posters ring true, as I have witnessed my son's efforts to get through this apprenticeship. Wendy's comments ring true , as my son recently joined the Union and was told it would be at least 6months before he got a call, this despite the fact that Long Harbor is crying out for workers. My son also objected to paying Union Dues while not working at the trade, and from his limited resources from a minimum wage retail job. While the Union was apparently not prepared to help him for a minimum of 6 months. There is something seriously wrong here, and Government is being ineffective and will continue to be so until they are prepared to deal effectively with the Union and employers and enforce the regulations they presently have in place, especially the Journeyman to apprentice ratio, which employers are ignoring, and is doing nothing to enhance the number of apprentices productively employed. as mentioned previously I have two brothers retired from the Electrical Trade, the older of the two was obliged to move from Newfoundland and in conversations expressed his unwillingness to move back to Newfoundland and face an uncertain employment future, while he was able to maintain fairly constant employment in the Trade elsewhere in Canada. The younger of the two was fortunate to find employment in the Government sector where he worked till retirement. Unfortunately the course hasn't been so rosy for my son, and it seems the closer he gets to his goal of achieving Journeyman status, the harder it is to find employment in the trade, and who in recent years has spent increasing periods of time unable to find employment in the Trade. I've encourage him to look in other directions and take advantage of his University Education, frankly I don't feel that the local Electrical fraternity deserves his loyalty, as they've shown very little to him. Unless government can find someway to right this ship, they will continue to lose apprentices to other more interesting, more rewarding and deserving locales and employment opportunities. as the saying goes, :Something stinks in Denmark"

  • Henry
    December 21, 2011 - 15:20

    As well, apprenticeship spaces for women are now encouraged financially through provincial government subsidies. Ain't this discrimination? Can you imagine men getting this subsidy and not women. There would be a hugh protest.

    • Linda Thomas
      January 02, 2012 - 13:36

      Men are subsidized all their lives right through to the old boys network. Not until there is true equality in the workplace would Henry's comment hold a shred of validity. From what I see and have expereinced as a trades woman, this equality is a long time away. Until then, go women go!

  • Wendy
    December 21, 2011 - 13:04

    My son's experience in trying to get a job in Newfoundland has been blocked by the union. They hire relatives, take your union dues and make you wait a year before you can get a job.

  • Brad
    December 21, 2011 - 11:27

    I am a skilled trades person working in Alberta. I could not find gainful employment in NL that paid well so I left for the mainland where there are plenty of well paying jobs. The employers in NL take advantage of apprentices, and the unions ensure only family members and their buddies ever get work. The best thing for a young apprentice to do for their future is to move west and never look back. After working here and acquiring my hours the companies in NL that wouldn't give me a chance as an apprentice can kiss my backside as I refuse to be used. Also I get paid almost 3 times what they are paying in Long Harbour for my trade. I am from Long Harbour and would never even consider a job there, even if I could get in the union. Besides who wants to work for a year or 2 and then look for another job. There are no fulltime jobs available and you have to chase down construction jobs that are only temporary and unreliable. I will stay where I am and reap the benefits that aren't present in the NL working environment.

  • John
    December 21, 2011 - 11:03

    I worked abroad for most of my apprenticeship. Now as a red seal journeyman back working in Alberta it becomes difficult to leave. There is a huge gap in wages between the two provinces and too little full time jobs in Newfoundland. It's hard to leave the security of the wages and benefits here for teporary work at home. I hope the province does do something to rectify these issues in the future.

  • willow
    December 21, 2011 - 10:42

    While I agree with alot being said in the article it's also noteworthy to mention that if you are a skilled trades person and you are not affiliated with a union here you will not get any work.Apprentices and Journeymen alike are not given the chance to work in Long Harbour or any other major project if they are not in the union. A family member of mine is a 4th year Pipefitter who has been working in Alberta for the last 5 years and cannot get a look in for Long Harbour because he's not in the union. He's quite willing to join if he's hired buy why pay an association who can't get you a job but does not want you working on another unionized site. Who's going to pay your bills while your waiting for that call that may or may not come from the union? There's hundreds if not thousands of skilled trades workers from NL that fall under this same catch 22. We do not have a shortage of skilled trades people it's a shortage of unionized skilled trades workers. That needs to change.

  • wayne
    December 21, 2011 - 09:09

    I know about a dozen young people who have seriously tried to get into skilled trades and many more who have given it a half hearted shot. The story is always the same......pay a small fortune to a private school or wait for years to get into a public college. Do your first block of courses and then can't get a job or get a job that pays the same as McDonalds but work like a slave. IF you manage to get your hours go back for another block of course and then it's even harder to get a job because nobody wants you. Some folks spend a fortune to find out that they are not suited for the trade. Soon there will be no skilled trades left and it's our fault because of our messed up system. In at least one westen province they do it right.......you get hired on as a junior apprentice FIRST and work at the basics of the trade. If you like it and get your hours THEN you start doing courses. It saves the student from wasting money and it frees up seats in classes of people who don't want to be there.