Mining companies are snapping up our graduates in heavy equipment mechanics by offering them up to $40 an hour when they leave school, which is good news for those who dream of a first paid work experience.
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“A few years ago it was considered a bit of a thankless job. Today, it’s a job with a future, very technological,” explains Maxime Taillefer, construction machinery mechanics teacher at the Mont-Laurier Vocational Training Center.
"That's what turns young people on," adds the man who has been a teacher for 16 years, after a career in forestry.
According to the Commission de la construction du Québec, employment prospects in the sector are good due in particular to the “very significant aging” of the workforce.
“The stereotype of the mechanic who gets dirty and who has big, hard physical days is no longer really realistic,” emphasizes Maxime Taillefer.
From father to son
For Carl Ouellette, 17, a student in construction machinery mechanics, mechanics have been part of his DNA since his first days in the forest.
“My father is a heavy machinery mechanic. I've always done mechanics with him since I was very young," he says, "We're in the forest a lot here. I must have been seven years old when I started going there,” he recalls.
After his classes, Carl Ouellette wants to go work in the North and then come back to work with his father in Grand-Remous, in Outaouais.
" It's crazy. The salaries are good and the companies are looking for it as it is not possible, ”concludes the one who will soon go north of the 49th parallel.
–With the collaboration of Charles Mathieu