Alex Hansen A 2nd Generation Electrician

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Trades the destination jobs of the 21st Century.

As a young boy growing up all I heard was how important a university degree would be to my future success. Well I’m 44 years old and I don’t have a Bachelors, a Masters or a PHD and I think I’m still pretty successful. Don’t get me wrong, I think university is great, I just don’t think it’s for everyone and more importantly I think there are a wealth of jobs and opportunities out there that don’t require a BA. What they do require is skills training and apprenticeship and that is where The Industry Training Authority (ITA) comes in. They lead and coordinate BC’s skilled trades system, from setting standards, issuing credentials, managing apprenticeships and increasing opportunities for todays generation to get into the Trades.

Alex for ITA

I met Alex Hansen a second generation electrician via email. I tried to meet him in person but this lucky young man was on vacation in Europe! Here’s a short video that explains Alex’s story from high school to Electrician.

I couldn’t let Alex go without answering the “5” questions. Here are his responses in his own words.

#1 – If you could have any career you wanted other than what you are currently doing what would it be?

Being an Electrician has given me the opportunity to pay for flying lessons. If I were to switch careers I would like to either be a pilot or go back to school to be an electrical engineer.

#2 – Who’s the first person you call when you have good or bad news?

I will usually call my friend Neal who’s living in Montreal. We grew up together and he offers me very sound advice.

#3 – What advice would you give your 16 year old self?

Keep doing what you’re doing. Worry less, things are going to turn out great.

#4 – Have you had a light bulb moment in your life? What was it and what did it mean for you?

At 16 when I realized I couldn’t afford a car, but a motorcycle was within my budget. Completely changed everything.

#5 – Chocolate, Vanilla or Strawberry Ice Cream?

Vanilla, it pairs much better with other desserts.

I think I’d like to have a beer with Alex when he gets back from his vacation, I like the way he thinks.

I think that the Trades get a bad rap as a career path. If it wasn’t for tradesmen and women who would wire my condo so that I can get lights, power and Wi-Fi. The beautiful granite countertops I enjoy cooking and entertaining over were laid by trades people and most importantly trades people make sure that the planes i fly on for my travel adventures are in tip top shape!

Now that I think about it if it wasn’t for the men and women working in the trades I wouldn’t be enjoying the life and opportunities I have.

Three points when thinking about the trades are:

1. Trades are your “ticket” to a great career:

The career pathways for tradespeople are abundant; they enjoy job satisfaction, career growth opportunities and a great paycheck. – you can be a small business owner, teach, or use your trade as a stepping stone for another career (i.e. electrician to electrical engineer)

Did you know? Tradespeople report high levels of job satisfaction and increased confidence.

2. Career pathways are available:

There are over 100 recognized trades, from carpentry and plumbing to aerospace and urban forestry; there is something for everyone. For those that like working with their hands, building things, solving problems, or being outdoors – discover what trades can do for you.

3. Why consider the trades?

Skilled trades people have a bright future in B.C. There is a shortage of skilled workers now – which means jobs and opportunities for men and women with trades training, skills and certification are in demand.  In general trades pay twice as much as retail and customer service jobs.  Carve yourself a new future, join a trade and a ticket to….

Let’s give a big round of applause and thanks to all the great people in the trades. If you’d like to find out more about ITA and the programs and services they offer then check out their website and perhaps they will be able to help you write YOUR TICKET.

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About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.

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