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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
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    :: Thursday, August 31, 2006 ::

    Builders part of labour problems, says chief - By Jim Donnelly, Ottawa Business Journal
    'My members tell me that they're experiencing a skilled trades shortage. But you know what? They all want the 10-year experienced tradesman.'

    Mr. Devries says there's a disconnect between contractors and skill-building apprenticeship programs, and that the perceived shortage is a direct result.

    This is despite a grassroots effort by associations like the OCA (which deals in the commercial sector) to create more co-op and apprenticeship programs with local high schools. In the same OCA survey, only 51 per cent of respondents either 'strongly agreed' or 'agreed' with supporting high-school co-op placements, despite the apparent skill shortage.

    'We're finding it a bit of a challenge to get the employers to line up, although we're trying to cultivate more of these co-ops,' he says, adding that the influence of trade unions within commercial construction, which dictate the number of apprenticeships awarded in a given year, don't help matters either.
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