Evidence of meeting #51 for Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was welding.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Alicia Ibbitson  As an Individual
Dan Tadic  Executive Director, Canadian Welding Association
Roch Lafrance  Secretary General, Union des travailleuses et travailleurs accidentés ou malades
Nicola Cherry  Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta

12:55 p.m.

Executive Director, Canadian Welding Association

Dan Tadic

It could be very significant. Many women in welding trades make $50,000, $60,000, $100,000 or more on an annual basis, and when you compare that with what they're able to receive on EI benefits, there is a significantly dramatic drop in pay.

12:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bryan May

Just based on what I'm hearing here, we've heard $100,000 used in terms of salary, but earlier you talked about a wage being around $24 an hour. That's a huge gap. You would need about $48 to $54 an hour to get to that $100,000.

Are we wrapping overtime in to get to that $100,000? How are we getting to that?

12:55 p.m.

Executive Director, Canadian Welding Association

Dan Tadic

As I mentioned earlier, there are various levels of training, of skills.

12:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bryan May

Okay. There are different jobs.

12:55 p.m.

Executive Director, Canadian Welding Association

Dan Tadic

It depends on the job, on the industry sector that you're in, and on the type of work environments you're working in. For example, if you're working inside a plant, you may receive less money than somebody working on a construction project, a cross-country pipeline, or some mining project in a remote area. It will vary greatly. If you're working as a welder in Fort McMurray and you're not making $100,000-plus, you're not trying hard enough.

12:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bryan May

Okay. We can maybe chat a little bit offline, but just to get it on the record, in Cambridge, Ontario, there is a lot of high-tech manufacturing, still a lot of that heavy manufacturing. There is a massive shortage right now of welders specifically. In every single factory I seem to walk into, the average age is 55 to 58. There doesn't seem to be very many people going into this. We have a short training period and a high wage, regardless if you're male or female.

What is the gap, as you see it?

April 4th, 2017 / 12:55 p.m.

Executive Director, Canadian Welding Association

Dan Tadic

One of the things that we're doing is trying to collect a lot of information from various apprenticeship organizations that run the provincial apprenticeship programs. I can tell you that, with the exception of Quebec and P.E.I., all the provinces have supplied us with enrolment numbers and completion numbers for welding. In Ontario, on average, over 10 years, the number of students that have graduated from apprenticeship programs is 33.

1 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bryan May

Wow. Okay.

1 p.m.

Executive Director, Canadian Welding Association

Dan Tadic

When you think of the size of the economy in Ontario, and you look at the issue and the number of people who are becoming journeymen, it is extremely low, and it cuts right across the country. The only exception is Alberta, where welding is mandatory.

I've spoken to people in the industry in Alberta, with government and trade unions. This initiative that we are launching, I thought that it would never fly in Alberta, but they're actually more supportive than any other part of this country. I was just totally blown away by the interest in the new approach to apprenticeship training. We're extremely excited about this new initiative and how it's going to help industry move forward.

1 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bryan May

Thank you.

Thank you to all of our witnesses here today.

Thank you to committee members for their fantastic questions.

I believe that this meeting is adjourned. Thank you.