Despite what Charles Lamb said, youth is not wasted on the young.

Young workers have the strength, potential and eagerness to excel at whatever captures their interest. They will ask questions and learn at the rate set by their employers. If an employer nourishes that interest and shows concern for the young employee, in their continuing education and development of skills required, then that employee will flourish.

Today, the trades are suffering a shortage of qualified tradespeople. This problem can partially be blamed on the employer. Too often, a contractor will hire a young person and keep him at an entry level as to the knowledge and advancement the young worker can acquire.

The reason? An employee that does not progress in the trade is worth the same amount as when he was hired and remains cheap labour. When this happens, a young employee gets frustrated that he isn’t advancing and loses interest in the trade.

Imagine feeling that you will be packing lumber and picking up garbage for the rest of your working life. Not a very attractive prospect.

On the reverse, a young employee that is constantly learning new facets of his trade and has the promise of advancement to eventually become a tradesperson with his or her inter-provincial red seal certificate, becomes a valued and trusted employee.

Valued, because the employer knows that the job he has asked his employee to do will be done to the best of his ability. Trusted, because the employer knows that no corners will be cut just to get the job done.

This will in turn reflect on the quality of the product that the employer is producing and, in turn, bolster the reputation of the company.

This attitude toward the young employee will also reflect the amount of injuries that happen on the job site. An employee that has no motivation to be on the job is more likely to be injured because he just doesn’t care. He puts in his time and draws his pay.

A motivated youth will be constantly aware of the job and his surroundings. They know that if they are injured, they will jeopardize their income, physical health and, more importantly, their career. A serious injury can cripple and stop a promising career in its tracks. Not something a young employee wants to happen because they want to advance in their chosen profession.

What it all boils down to is attitude. Seeing their employee learn their trade, advance their skills on a daily basis and, most importantly, work safely, goes a long way for an employer.

For the employee, attitude is everything. Their employer sees them as a valuable asset to their company. The employee learns a trade that will see them through their working life, earning an above average income and gaining an awareness of safety that will carry them through their working day.

Think of this: wouldn’t you feel a lot better if the home you are buying was built by a company that put quality and excellence first?

Joe Radwanski owns and operates Sherlock Homes, a company that evaluates the condition of homes. Contact him at 667-7456 orsherlockhomes@northwestel.net.