Go to College or Learn a Trade?
IT IS ironic that many countries that have high unemployment among their young people are also suffering a shortage of certain types of skilled workers. William Davis, premier of Ottawa, Canada, claims that “our attitude towards the skilled trades” is partially responsible for the gap between available jobs and skilled laborers. This viewpoint is seen in the prevalent opinion that “parents are making an error” if they do not send their children to college. However, Davis declared that there is nothing wrong with parents’ encouraging their children to learn a trade rather than attend a university to prepare them for some profession. He continued, “Partly as a result of social pressure to attend post-secondary institutions, partly through a lack of appreciation for the talent and importance of skilled trades, fewer young people have considered this to be an attractive career option.” “All jobs are relevant,” he said further, and people becoming competent in technical fields make valuable contributions to the community. He also observed that young persons who are trained to “acquire relevant skills” are also helped to “achieve a satisfying life.”