What is a Skilled Trade?

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A Professional Cook alumni at a flambe station.

We have all heard that skilled tradespeople are in high demand – but what exactly is a skilled trade?

When you think of the term ‘skilled trade’ do you think of welders, carpenters and mechanics? If you do, you are on the right track – but the trades are even more diverse than you might think.

Trades students at College of the Rockies can take foundation and/or apprenticeship training in traditional trades: automotive service technician, carpentry, electrician, heavy mechanical, industrial mechanic (millwright), plumber and piping, timber framing and welding.

However, there are two other programs offered at the College that are also considered skilled trades: Hairstylist and Professional Cook. Students can complete their foundation training at the College and then, if they choose, work through a challenge process to earn Red Seal interprovincial certification.

Like the other skilled trades, professional cooks and hairstylists are in high-demand. Almost 5,000 hairstylists are expected to be needed in BC in the next 10 years while over 12,000 cook positions are forecasted over the same time period.

We need the traditional trades to ensure our cars and machinery is running and our infrastructure is constructed – but we also rely on our professional cooks and hairstylists. So, next time you’re enjoying a delicious meal (maybe at our Class Act Dining Room) out or rocking a new hairstyle (acquired at our in-house salon, perhaps) – remember, these services were provided by a skilled tradesperson.