NEXT in Trades

Empowering diversity and inclusion in the trades 

NAIT recognizes that Aboriginal peoples, Black and racialized communities, newcomers, women, and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities are underrepresented in the trades.

NEXT in Trades is a free event series that encourages and empowers people from all backgrounds and abilities to explore careers in the skilled trades industry. As a leading skilled trades training and education provider, NAIT provides training and mentorship to prepare you to succeed in the trades.

Explore your potential and discover a career that works for you in the skilled trades.  

Upcoming dates:

Monday, September 23, NAIT Main Campus 

Stay up-to-date for registration and upcoming events! 

Stay updated on future events

A day in the trades

At NEXT in Trades, you'll get the chance to meet with NAIT graduates, staff and industry members who will share their experiences and journeys in the skilled trades. 

Attend hands-on workshops taught by current NAIT instructors in a trade that interests you. You will be able to pick your top 4 career choices from the list below and be scheduled in one of those choices plus 3 other amazing trades to try during the day. Our workshops that will give you a glimpse into future careers include:  

Automotive Service Technician

Automotive service technicians work on cars, trucks, and other vehicles performing repairs, conducting preventative maintenance, and diagnosing faulty systems. They’re comfortable working with their hands and are interested in the changing technology of the automotive industry. 

Automotive service technicians diagnose problems, repair engines, use computer management systems, and adjust vehicles to operate for peak performance. They specialize in repairing, rebuilding and servicing specific parts, like transmissions, engines or electrical components. 

In this workshop, you will learn how to do a tire change on a shop vehicle.  


Carpenters construct, renovate and repair buildings and structures made of wood, wood substitutes, steel and other materials. They also install doors, windows, flooring, cabinets, stairs, handrails, paneling, moulding and ceiling tiles, and build concrete forms for commercial and industrial jobs, scaffolding, bridges, trestles, tunnels, shelters, towers and other structures. 

In this workshop, you will use woodworking tools to make an item that you can take home. 

Culinary Arts/Baking and Pastry Arts/Professional Meat cutting and Merchandise

Culinary Arts: People who work in this industry enjoy creative challenges and working in a fast-paced environment. Cooks often work under pressure in time-sensitive situations and can work in a variety of places, such as restaurants, hotels, catering, hospitals, schools, and more. Professionals in this field love making and creating food expressed through a keen sense of taste and smell. In addition to preparing food, an individual should be able to work as part of a team. 

Baking and Pastry Arts:  bakers and pastry chefs can work in bakeries, pastry shops, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, catering facilities and more. This profession can include a variety of shifts such as days, nights, early mornings, weekends, and holidays. You must have a good sense of taste and smell, enjoy making food and working with your hands, and be able to work as a team. The Baking and Pastry Arts diploma program focuses on the art and science of bread, cake and pastry making, including, cake design and decorating, confectionery training (chocolate and sugar), artisan-style baking, and showpiece making. 

Meat cutting & Merchandising: Meat cutters work with beef, bison, pork, lamb, seafood, and poultry and learn how to produce cured, smoked, and processed meat and sausage. You’ll also learn about merchandising and purchasing meat products. People in Professional Meat Cutting and Merchandising industry work in meat processing plants, retail businesses such as supermarkets, speciality sausage shops, delicatessens, and independent meat markets.  


Electricians install, alter, repair and maintain electrical systems designed to provide heat, light, power, control, signals or fire alarms for buildings and premises. They splice, join and connect wires to form circuits, and test those circuits for integrity and safety. 

Electricians also position and install distribution and control equipment such as switches, relays, circuit breaker panels and fuse enclosures, and install and maintain fibre optic systems or electrical generation sources. 

In this workshop, you will use electrical hand tools to make an item that you can take home. 


Glaziers cut and install glass and aluminum systems for commercial, residential and automotive applications. The work is most rewarding for those who enjoy variety, developing special skills and seeing the results of their work. Glaziers work in a variety of environments. Some work outdoors at construction sites, sometimes on scaffolds and swing-stages (platforms suspended from the top of high-rise buildings and other elevated surfaces). Others work in factories installing glass in wooden or metal frames, or in shops replacing glass in vehicles or furniture.

In this workshop, you will use glazier tools to make an item that you can take home. 

Heavy Equipment Technician

Heavy Equipment Technicians  maintain, repair and overhaul heavy vehicles and industrial equipment, both towed and self-propelled. They are employed by specialized repair shops and organizations that own or lease heavy equipment used in the construction, mining, forestry, material handling, landscaping, land clearing, agriculture and transportation industries. 

In this workshop, you will work on a circuit project. 


HVACR Technicians work in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration industries. They understand the operating principles of industry-specific equipment, systems and procedures.  

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics install, alter, repair and maintain refrigeration and air conditioning systems in all types of applications. They are mechanically inclined and understand the basic functioning of cooling and heating systems.

In this workshop, you will use tools to make an item that you can take home. 

Industrial Mechanic (Millwright)

Industrial mechanics (millwrights) install, maintain, repair and troubleshoot stationary industrial machinery and mechanical equipment in sites such as factories, production plants and recreational facilities. They also know how to fit bearings, align gears and shafts, attach motors, and connect couplings and belts to precise tolerances. Industrial mechanics read diagrams and schematic drawings, operate rigging equipment and dollies to place heavy machinery and parts, and align and test equipment.   


Instrumentation and control technicians install, maintain, and repair the measuring and control devices used in industrial and commercial processes. They are skilled in using test equipment and hand tools, reading and interpreting technical schematics, and troubleshooting. They have strong attention to detail, problem-solving, and critical-thinking abilities. They are lifelong learners, adaptable to changes in technology and different industries including food processing, industrial and commercial manufacturing, utilities (water, wastewater, power, and natural gas), mining, and petrochemicals. 

In this workshop, you will use instrumentation components to make an item that you can take home. 


If you aren’t afraid of working at heights and like to complete precise tasks, then you’ll enjoy working as an insulator.

Insulators work both indoors and outdoors, sometimes in cramped or potentially hazardous circumstances, such as on ladders or scaffolding. You will often work using materials that are dusty, itchy or toxic. Therefore, safety precautions including the use of respirators, coveralls and safety glasses are paramount.

To be successful as an insulator, you must have:

  • manual dexterity
  • the ability to lift up to 25 kgs
  • the agility required to work in cramped spaces
  • the willingness to work in hot and cold environments

In this workshop, you will use insulator tools to make an item that you can take home. 


Ironworkers fabricate, construct and join scaffolding, structural steel buildings, ornamental ironwork and pre-cast structures. They specialize in metalwork and are comfrotable working from heights. 

Ironworkers are employed primarily by construction contractors, but may also be employed by metal fabricators, oil and gas producers, iron and steel producers, electrical utility contractors or the rail transport industry.

In this workshop, you will use ironworking tools to make an item that you can take home. 

Machinist/Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Technician

Machinists incorporate manual machining knowledge with CNC machining techniques. They set up and operate precision metal cutting and grinding machines, such as lathes, milling machines, drills and grinders. They also make and repair products made from metal, plastic, rubber textile, fibreglass and alloys.

In this workshop, you will use manual and automated tools to make an item that you can take home. 

Millwork (Cabinetmaking)

Cabinetmakers use woodworking equipment to build and repair fixtures and furniture made of wood or wood substitutes. They cut, shape, mould and assemble wooden components and apply veneer, stain, polish or plastic laminates to finished surfaces. They custom-make products by gluing, clamping, dowelling, nailing and screwing pieces together.

In this workshop, you will use woodworking tools to make an item that you can take home. 


Plumbers install and service plumbing systems, fixtures, piping equipment and controls for transporting water, waste, gases or hot liquids. They can prepare detailed sketches for pipe and equipment fabrication and installation and install underground storm sanitary and water piping system.

Plumbers also do finishing work, such as installing sinks, tubs and toilets, or more specialized tasks like installing water conditioners or hydronic heating and chilled water systems.

In this workshop, you will use plumbing tools to make an item that you can take home. 

Sheet Metal Worker

Sheet Metal Workers fabricate, assemble, install and service various products and equipment using materials such as galvanized iron, black iron, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass PVC and fibreglass. They use laser or plasma cutting equipment, numerically-controlled or computerized equipment, and hand or power shears and snips to cut, drill, punch, bend and shape sheet metal.

Sheet Metal Workers can specialize in the installation and repair of sheet metal products, such as HVAC systems, neon and metal sign equipment, or dairy, brewery and laboratory equipment.

In this workshop, you will use sheet metal tools to make an item that you can take home. 

Why a career in the skilled trades?  

Skilled trades will continue to be in high demand as there will be more than 256,000 new apprentices needed over the next 5 years in Canada.* This provides endless opportunities for a rewarding and meaningful career that is essential to communities across Canada. 

A career in the skilled trades can provide financial security and independence, benefits, and the opportunity to work in many important industries such as construction, manufacturing, transportation, oil and gas, and renewable energy.  

At NAIT, we offer several pathways into a skilled trades career including: 

*Source: Government of Canada

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Get involved

Help create a memorable experience at Next in Trades by becoming a sponsor or volunteer at an upcoming event. Contact to learn how you can get involved.

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at NAIT 

NAIT is committed to fostering a learning environment where all people feel safe, valued and included.   At NAIT, you are part of a community that makes a difference in the lives of students, staff and industry clients and partners. The NAIT culture reflects our shared values of respect, collaboration, celebration, creativity, and accountability. We are committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion and are a proud partner of the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion and Pride at Work Canada. 

Learn more about NAIT’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion

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