Nurturing the Future: Introducing Skilled Trades to Kids & Youth

In a world often dominated by traditional academic pathways, introducing our next generation to the exciting possibilities within the skilled trades is a crucial step in broadening their horizons. In this blog article, we’ll explore creative ways to ignite interest in the skilled trades for kids and provide avenues for them to test out various hands-on experiences. 

Career Exploration Fairs

Participate in career exploration fairs that specifically highlight the skilled trades. There are many events in Ontario that offer hands-on activities like Tools in the Trades Bootcamp, Level Up, Trade Tracks, and Career Expos hosted by our local schools. You get the amazing opportunity to speak to skilled trades professionals from many industries to deepen your knowledge and draw inspiration from. 

Virtual Reality Experiences

Leverage technology to create virtual reality experiences that simulate different skilled trades. Virtual workshops or simulations can provide an immersive and safe environment for kids to explore various trades, fostering interest and curiosity. Virtual reality can be an exciting way to introduce the tactile aspects of skilled trades in a safe environment.

Storytelling and Role Models

Share stories of successful tradespeople who started their journeys at a young age like Evan from Evan’s Workshop in Toronto, ON. Introduce children to relatable role models who found fulfillment and success in skilled trades. Personal narratives can inspire and resonate with young minds, demonstrating that a rewarding career can begin early.

Community Service Projects

Engage kids in community service projects that involve basic trade skills. Whether it’s building a small structure, repairing simple fixtures, or creating something beneficial for the community, hands-on projects instill a sense of accomplishment and foster an appreciation for the trades. Check out Habitat for Humanity to see how you can get involved. Volunteers need to be a minimum of 16 years of age to participate. 

Engaging Online Resources

Create or recommend engaging online resources that introduce younger students to the trades. Video tutorials, virtual tours of workshops, and informative websites can be powerful tools to showcase the diversity of trades and provide valuable information in an accessible format.

Career Exploration Programs

Encourage students to participate in career exploration programs that offer hands-on experiences in different trades like the Try-A-Trade program at Conestoga College or the many exploratory programs offered at the Centre for Skills in Burlington, ON. These programs, often organized by local trade schools or community organizations, allow students to rotate through various workshops, gaining exposure to carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, and more.

Youth-oriented Trade Competitions

Participate in youth-oriented trade competitions like Skills Canada. These events, often organized regionally or nationally, provide students with opportunities to showcase their skills and compete in trades-related challenges. Involvement in such competitions not only fosters a sense of camaraderie but also ignites a passion for excellence in the trades.

Home Depot Workshops

Home Depot hosts workshops once a month across its stores. These workshops provide an excellent opportunity for children and teenagers to gain hands-on experience with basic tools and simple construction projects. The DIY projects offered by Home Depot not only introduce you to fundamental skills but also make the learning process enjoyable and interactive.

Subscription Boxes

For those who love surprises and enjoy receiving mail, subscription boxes like Craftsman Crate can be a fantastic introduction to the world of tools and craftsmanship. Craftsman Crate delivers a curated selection of tools and DIY projects to subscribers’ doorsteps every month. It’s a delightful way for young enthusiasts to explore new tools, learn essential skills, and embark on creative projects in the comfort of their own homes.

Inviting Children to Participate

To foster a deeper connection between children and the world of skilled trades, it’s crucial to involve them in household repairs and maintenance activities. Encouraging children to participate in simple tasks, under supervision, not only imparts valuable skills but also instills a sense of responsibility and self-sufficiency. From assembling furniture to fixing a leaky faucet, these hands-on experiences at home serve as stepping stones for future exploration and career interest.

Final Remarks

As we strive to inspire and guide the next generation toward fulfilling careers in the skilled trades, let us continue to embrace innovation, mentorship, and a hands-on approach. By collectively investing in these efforts, we are not only shaping individual career paths but also contributing to the growth and sustainability of the skilled trades industry as a whole. The journey to a rewarding career in the trades begins with curiosity, exploration, and the unwavering belief that every young mind has the potential to build a future filled with passion and success in the world of skilled trades.


We had the opportunity to sit down and talk about skilled trades with Larry in our podcast. Check out this episode:

Larry La Gamba

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