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Old 02-08-2010, 09:19 PM   #1
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Default Time for a good rant

So I graduated from college in November to start my apprenticeship. I'm in Canada and the government is throwing this talk of a skilled trades shortage in my face. I can't see the shortage. If someone else in this country wants to enlighten me on this a bit, please do.

So I've been handing out resumes left, right, and center since graduation. Some guys I knew from glass got jobs right away. My guess is they knew someone and got a leg in. It's not what you know, it's who you know.

Anyway, 70 resumes later and I'm still where I started. I have a company that keeps telling me they're going to want me on a project, but they keep pushing this a month ahead, then I wait for that month to come, and they push it ahead another month. The buildings are built, two schools and one hospital addition. Who's going to wire these? God? The little electrical man that comes out of the woods every now and then?

As a first year apprentice I'm faced with discrimination because I'm assumed to not know a damn thing about anything electrical. That might be true with some things, but I'm a self learner. I've helped to put wires and lighting through two houses. I volunteered for that. I've helped out family members, installed heaters, three way lighting, even took a panel apart to install breakers. You call these side jobs, and apparently I'm not supposed to do these. What is expected of me, that I sit on my ass and wait for a miracle to happen? Side jobs are money, money that I'm not getting from any contractors right now. Bills don't wait for miracles to happen. They wait until you can't pay anymore, then you go to jail.

Before someone mentions Alberta oilsands, I've sent about 20 resumes there. They're only interested in hiring 3rd and 4th year apprentices right now. How did those people get that far? Did they get their apprenticeships out of a hat? Am I supposed to get mine out of a hat? It sure seems like it.

Anyway, that's my rant. Getting sick of this trade. I'll go back to a cubicle job and watch dust mites mate on my desk.

Last edited by shockme123; 02-09-2010 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:29 PM   #2
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Be persistent and brother I promise you something will come your way. Remember, the sure way to fail is to quit.

As for the side jobs thing... you know you're supposed to be doing them legally, however, if you're going to do them for God's sake charge a hell of a lot of more money. Part of the reason a contractor cannot offer you higher wages is because he has to compete with folks doing side jobs really, really, really cheap. It's a vicious cycle that's sometime hard to grasp until you start to run a business.

Remember, be persistent.

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Old 02-08-2010, 10:44 PM   #3
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Try looking in odd places. You might have to move somewhere you never expected.

Do lots of volunteer work if you can. Make some contacts.

The military might be an option. I went to a garrison to visit friends and they were leaning on me HARD to join up. The military is always looking for people. Some of the best jobs are in the Navy. Look at the hull technician position.

Power companies need high voltage linesmen. If you are in good physical shape and can pass the tests, you might want to consider it. BC Hydro is hiring regularly.
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:49 PM   #4
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Try looking in odd places. You might have to move somewhere you never expected.

Do lots of volunteer work if you can. Make some contacts.

The military might be an option. I went to a garrison to visit friends and they were leaning on me HARD to join up. The military is always looking for people. Some of the best jobs are in the Navy. Look at the hull technician position.

Power companies need high voltage linesmen. If you are in good physical shape and can pass the tests, you might want to consider it. BC Hydro is hiring regularly.
I thought really hard about the military. Always wanted to work in the air force. They have a computer technician position that seems to be in really good demand right now. But I need to finish my electrical apprenticeship. Otherwise it would be a waste of time and money.

I've sent a resume to BC Hydro but I havent gotten either an email nor phone call from them. I guess they prefer BC residents.

Last edited by shockme123; 02-08-2010 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:01 PM   #5
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I thought really hard about the military. Always wanted to work in the air force. They have a computer technician position that seems to be in really good demand right now. But I need to finish my electrical apprenticeship. Otherwise it would be a waste of time and money.

I've sent a resume to BC Hydro but I havent gotten either an email nor phone call from them. I guess they prefer BC residents.
Have you considered going to school and getting something like a First Aid Level 1 and 2? You could get on a job site easier with some extra certifications.

Sucks dude. I hope you find something.
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:07 PM   #6
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Have you considered going to school and getting something like a First Aid Level 1 and 2? You could get on a job site easier with some extra certifications.

Sucks dude. I hope you find something.
I have First Aid Level 1 completed already. Bottom line is that it only matters who you know. The military is tempting, but I don't want to go to Afghanistan and get shot.
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:14 PM   #7
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You don't go to Afghanistan to get shot, you go so a terrorist gets shot!
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:43 PM   #8
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I have First Aid Level 1 completed already. Bottom line is that it only matters who you know. The military is tempting, but I don't want to go to Afghanistan and get shot.
You are just as likely to die as a construction worker in Canada.

http://thetyee.ca/News/2008/01/10/DeadlyBoom/

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Job related injuries and illnesses are killing nearly five Canadians a day, and the death toll for B.C. workers last year alone was higher than for Canadian forces in the entire Afghan mission.
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:08 AM   #9
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I do not buy the first year apprentice discrimination, there is always a place for greenies, but in limited numbers.

This is NOT DISCRIMINATION it is a fact of life.

When the economy gets better there will be a shortage, at present this shortage is NOT evident.

Oh and learn one thing GOVERNMENT EXPERTS do not know their ass from a hole in the ground. Typically they have NO REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE, they are book experts, they read about it in college.
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:49 AM   #10
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Sending resumes works when you have something to offer and/or times are good. With the economy the way it is and the experience you are bringing to the table I think hammering on a door might be a better idea. You may have to use the old method of getting a job, go around to various companies get seen get known, bug them until its easier to hire you then send you home. If you get a reputation as the guy every Monday morning at 8 AM is at their door looking for a job you might just be more reliable then some of the guys they already have.

And the joining the military and getting shot I really donít think anyone joins anything to get shot. The idea in it is to not get shot and I seriously believe they take a great deal of time and effort during your basic training to show you ways of avoiding being shot.
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:57 AM   #11
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Default Good Rant

People die all the time. You cannot let that influence decisions. Heck, the death rate here in Kentucky is pretty high... it's One Per PERSON. That's close to 100%. The really wierd part is that when you read the paper, they seem to die in alphabetical order.
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:10 AM   #12
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I remember when things got really bad around here in the late 80's early 90's the low period appretices were the only ones left. They were cheap to keep. I have never seen it to where it was hard for a new apprentice to get a job. Never been to Canada though. Good luck to you my friend.
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Old 02-09-2010, 01:14 PM   #13
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Yea this was a bad career move, but pretty much everything is these days, unless you are a doctor or nurse. Everything else is a victim of oursourcing/economy/world markets.

The military seems to be the only option.
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Old 02-09-2010, 01:20 PM   #14
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Yea this was a bad career move, but pretty much everything is these days, unless you are a doctor or nurse. Everything else is a victim of oursourcing/economy/world markets.

The military seems to be the only option.
Doctor, accountant, nurse, teacher, engineers...You will get your turn. Chill and keep plugging away, take a job in building maintenance.
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Old 02-09-2010, 01:43 PM   #15
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Yea this was a bad career move, but pretty much everything is these days, unless you are a doctor or nurse. Everything else is a victim of oursourcing/economy/world markets.

The military seems to be the only option.
There are many nurses out of work due to government cutbacks and many of the doctors have had to jump ship for the US in order to get paid a reasonable amount so they can pay off their education (health care what can I say government health care means they can dictate the amount of patients the doctor sees in a day etc.. but that another thing all together)

You will find in time you have to work for what you get and in some cases the work is finding the job in the first place. That is why I always tell someone with little or no experience to get out and look (in person). The writing of resumes is for when you have something to really offer, in todays market you send a resume out in that you have about 10 seconds to make an impression before the resume hits the trash. Going door to door, finding another type of job, where you can use it to make contacts are both tried and true methods of getting your foot in the door. As a career option it only sucks for the first 4 years then it can get real nice.
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Old 02-09-2010, 01:57 PM   #16
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When I graduated I initially went door to door handing out resumes because I thought this was the better way to do things. I didn't get any good leads on those either. Most of them said they weren't hiring, and one that, even though they had a lot of work coming up, they still weren't hiring. I handed out my resumes anyway and never heard from those contractors again.

Every now and then I'm emailed a random job posting that I apply to. I don't care about having to move, as long as the job is concrete and written in stone, and it's not an expensive place to live, like Toronto for instance. Hell, I can even apply to go to Antarctica. The cold doesn't bother me one bit.

How about electrical sales? Wouldn't I need experience though for that?
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:31 PM   #17
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The amount of experience one needs is in direct proportion to the number of applicants for a job.

Before we go to much farther into this you say you have been off and sending resumes (or going door to door in the beginning) for three months. May I remind you this is Canada and youíre talking the slowest period possible for construction up here. Traditionally from late November to mid March there is not much hiring done, in any of the trades. I am very sorry your instructors or guidance councilors didnít let you into that little fact, but then they are just doing what they are told promote the schooling to keep their jobs going.
Now the time is coming in another couple of months where some projects will be coming up and some of the companies out there will want apprentices to do some of the grunt work. But you still need to be seen and heard when I said go door to door I didnít say do it once then move on I said ďgo around to various companies get seen get known, bug them until its easier to hire you then send you home. If you get a reputation as the guy every Monday morning at 8 AM is at their door looking for a job you might just be more reliable then some of the guys they already haveĒ (never quoted myself before) persistence and begging for a chance is what is needed and it can be frustrating but the payback is worth it believe me its worth it.
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:43 PM   #18
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More tough love:


Life sucks sometimes so STFU and get used to it.
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:56 PM   #19
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More tough love:


Life sucks sometimes so STFU and get used to it.

How about you come up here and tell me that to my face, f***er.

If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all.

Period.
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:58 PM   #20
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How about you come up here and tell me that to my face, f***er.

If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all.

Period.
You have the worst attitude I've seen. Be a man, don't be a whiney little bitch.
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