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I do love it. I wake up every day I work happy without a doubt but when it comes down to it you can't live without money. With rent rates and inflation the way they are where some of these companies operate you literally can't afford to work as an apprentice if your not a single person with no bills. But what if you have a truck, or a hobey, or *GASP* student loans!? Haha I personally have all of these and I was one of the better off in my class. There were at least 4 people in my graduating class that had to go back to thier old jobs after school just so they could make ends meet again. After taking 1.5 years out of our salaries, to take a pay cut turns people the other way which is unfortunate. Like I said I love my job and am having the time of my life right now.


:up: -Just another usless thought from a usless apprentice- :up:

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I teach in a post secondary facility and I can agree with you that the students coming out of high school have abysmal spelling and math skills. For example, the college that I work at has an entrance exam that they give to students interested in the trades. It has grade 10 math on it. The student has to have grade 12 math skills. The will flunk the exam. Reason. They take there calculators away!!!! As an educator in AME am I responsible for teaching prospective AME's how to add fractions? The secondary college's responcibility is to teach the curriculm that is stated in CAR566 as Transport Canada see's fit. Spelling, reading and math are not part of that curriculm.


Secondary education facilities are also having a great deal of difficulty attracting the top end students. Gone are the days of people getting into aviation for the love of aviation. (this is a generalization I know). People get in because they want a good paying job. The industry has a reputation now that if you become an AME you will be paid poorly and possibly will be laid off every 6 months. (thanks in no part to the problems at Air Canada and the failure of other airlines i.e. Canada 3000.)


Long story short there is not only a shortage of experienced engineers but there is also a corresponding shortage of good students. Enrollement is down in all colleges across Canada and until wages and working conditions get better it will not change. Continuing education enrollment in regards to people upgrading their math skills for instance is down over 20% across Canada. Reason, you can get a good paying job, for example in the patch in Alberta, without grade 12.


My two cents.........

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In reading your post, the thought occured to me - why does it matter if college enrollment is down 20%? what's the big deal if half of your prospective students fail the entrance exams? Let the people who are happily not completing grade 12 go work in the oil patch - they're not the people that we want working on our aircraft anyway, are they? You say that the perception is that an AME will be paid poorly and will be laid off every 6 months, and that people are not entering the field because of a love of aviation anymore.

Why not raise the bar?

Why not recruite better students who have an intrinsic love of aviation, and the ability to read well, and write eloquently?

Don't worry about those people who are failing the entrance exams - they will never help to drive wages and working conditions up anyway.

I know alot of people in this industry who are paid poorly and are laid off frequently - for good reason! It's not the schools fault, it's that they don't have the aptitude for the job in the first place. How many students do you have in your class whom you think will become first-rate engineers?

The prevailing conditions are not going to change overnight, it's going to take alot of people with more than an "I sure wish I were paid more" attitude. I believe that this needs to change at the front door, and I wish I knew how to recruite inspired minds into an underpayed industry. It's a catch 22, but don't lower the standards just to fill the seats - there are good people out there who are going to take a hit to the wallet for a few years in order to join an exciting industry. They are the ones who will do well wherever they decide to go.



okay, sorry if that sounded trite or argumentative, it wasn't meant that way (it's been a long night...) it's just my humble opinion.




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I think what 212 was saying is not that people are failing (that test is freaking easy), it is that people are not applying at all! When I took the test 2 years ago I had to totally guess on the math too and I took math 12 and passed it fine. Its the days of technology and in highschool they teach how to use calculators, not how to use your brain. Its the sad truth and it hurts industries like this and other trades that you don't always have a calculator or a computer with a spell checker. I totally agree with MJM that we shouldnt lower the req's because I know I dont want to fly in a machine if johnny numbnuts signed the machine out. But I think it will take something different than just trying to recruit good (young) people to the industry because in highschool we are told that you have to go to university or you will be a loser in life. I didnt make the req's for Uni and thank god. I know many people who would be great to have work in the industry but instead they are wasting tens of thousands of dollars on an degree they dont want or need. On the flip side I know great people who couldnt go to university and just looked around for money so they went to the oil patch. I think we are caught in the middle. We cant pay like the oil patch, but we can't lure the good grade types because highschool tells them otherwise. It would be nice to get decent enrollment of good people but i have no idea how to do it.


*GASP FOR BREATH*Being a young gun who has pretty up to date memories of highschool and college i figured id spill my guts. Just my thoughts again though...

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I know what kind of students get into shools, I am in one right now (done in 4 weeks). About 50-60 % of the people in my school I would not want to work with or even know they are working out there in the industry and frankly they are technically inept and alot are not that "brain smart" either.


But you know what, the instructors know this and it shows in the students' practical and theory marks. The pass is 70% here and I wouldn't even look at hiring a person whos average is not 85% or higher (especially in the practical side)


Oh ya, alot of the forign exchange students don't seem to understand you better know a basic command of the english language if you ever want a job in canada.


that's the end of my rant......CAN't Wait to get out of here!!!

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First a couple of points in regards to comments about my post---


you cannot recruit students when after 2years of schooling they can look forward to making $15/hr and it doesn't matter what program we are talking about. For instance, commercial cooking enrollements are down over 50%!! just because of the historical low pay of cooking.


Encouraging people to get involved with an industry that over the last ten years has been all layoffs, union concessions and corperate collapses isn't the fault of the schools. This industry has a big black eye and the industry has to take the blame for it and has to have the inititive to want to change it.


The people who are avid aviationholics will still enroll in either AME apprentiships or flight schools. The people who are being lost are the ones who are being scooped up by other higher paying careers. The shortage of engineers is apparent as even licensed guys are leaving and going after better pay and working conditions. Sorry but living in a tent for 6 weeks working on a couple of machines may enable you to make some decent coin (after all no one is going to pay you $100grand to sit on your ***) but is it worth it in the quaility of life. More and more operaters are finding out the answer is no.


I left the industry because even though I was making in the $100,000/yr range I was not home 22 weeks a year. Not worth it. My kids are 8 only once and there are too many birthdays missed, concerts missed, parent teacher meetings missed, chances to go golfing or watch them play ball missed.


Keep your heads in the sand and try to blame everyone else when the truth off the matter is industry is to blame and until it changes, the shortage and lack of quality people will continue. Just keep giving 206's away at $600/hr wet!!!


my turn to vent......

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I hear ya 212,

...and I certainly wasn't trashing your insitution in my last post. I think we're stating basically the same point, albeit from different perspecives. The main issue is that wages haven't kept pace with other skilled trades. For many employers this is not a problem - cheap labour, right on! they'll keep hiring the guys who can't spell their names correctly, and lay them off after a season of abuse. We all seem to agree that this can only hurt the industry, but yet tech schools keep pumping them out. And really, who can blame them - they need to fill the seats. I'm not pretending to have any answer to the problem. I wish I did. All I'm saying is that the, shall we call them 'non-progressive', employers aren't the only issue here. We also need talented and driven new people to help foster a change, but like you said, how do you recruite them with a promise of $15/Hr in the bush?


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1st Yr 2nd Yr 3rd Yr 4th Yr New Licensed


Tool & Die Maker 11.25 13.62 15.54 17.94 23.29

Mould Maker 11.16 13.59 16.05 20.07 22.89

General Machinist 10.93 13.83 15.78 17.96 23.44

Pattern Maker 11.05 14.90 15.95 18.50 23.94

Automotive 22.00

Carpenter 20.00

Cook 15.00

Electrician 20.00

HD Mech. 24.00

Millwright 24.00

Welding 20.00



This data is 2 – 4 years old and came from multiple Canadian sources. To correct for inflation add 3% per year.

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