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Fenestration Canada: Canada needs glaziers

October 25, 2023  By Fenestration Canada


In the Q3 issue of Glass Canada, it was reported that demographic shifts and high retirement rates are continuing to fuel demand to recruit and train thousands of skilled trades workers across Canada. In Ontario, construction was the second fastest-growing industry with 9.2 percent growth from 2019 to 2022. It’s difficult to remember a time when glazing had enough skilled labour to fill demand. We hear time and time again that the commercial glazing industry needs to generate interest and recruit the next generation of glaziers, glass fabricators, CAD designers, facade engineers and other glass nerds. 

If by, some miracle, there were a surplus in skilled labour in our country we would still need to compete with every other trade out there. As a national association, Fenestration Canada has taken on the responsibility of building awareness of the glazing trade within our industry. This task group has been created to bring together members, government officials and educational providers with the common goal of promoting and educating others about this crucial aspect of construction. 

As a first step, FenCan booked a booth at the New Generation Trades Expo in October 18 and 19 in Surrey, B.C.’s. FenCan members joined us to meet and connect with a diverse community including youth, newcomers, career changers, women and men who are all seeking exciting career opportunities. This presented a unique chance for members to recruit employees and showcase the wide range of roles and companies within our industry. Stay tuned for future opportunities of this kind.

The glazing trade is an integral part of any building, however, it is often overlooked and undervalued compared to other trades within the construction industry. This lack of recognition has led to a shortage of skilled glaziers and a decline in interest among young people in pursuing this trade as a career. Through our task group we aim to change this perception by showcasing the importance and opportunities within the glazing trade. We will work closely with our members, government officials and educational providers to develop programs and initiatives that promote and support the training and development of skilled glaziers. Furthermore, we plan to engage with the public through various awareness campaigns and events to educate them about the vital role of glazing in building structures. 

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As we continue to expand our efforts in promoting careers in trades, our team has been actively working on forming partnerships and building networks with various organizations and institutions. One of our recent achievements was meeting with Ontario’s Ministry of Education. Our goal is to reach out to school districts across the country, starting with Ontario and B.C. as initial steppingstones. We believe that by collaborating with schools we can reach a larger number of students and educate them on the various opportunities available in the commercial glass industry.

Additionally, we are working on building a calendar of career fairs that would allow us to directly interact with students and provide them with firsthand information about careers in glazing. These career fairs will serve as an excellent platform for students to ask questions, gain insights and make informed decisions about their future career paths. We are also building a comprehensive database of career counselors and trades teachers across the country. This will enable us to connect with these educators and work together to provide students with the necessary guidance and resources they need to pursue careers in glass and metal. We strongly believe that by working closely with schools, career fairs and educators, we can inspire and encourage the next generation to consider glazing. Our efforts are aimed towards breaking stereotypes, highlighting the benefits of fenestration careers and showcasing the various paths one can take within this industry.

FenCan is committed to building strong partnerships and networks that will allow us to spread awareness about careers in fenestration and help students make informed decisions about their futures.•


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