VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – How many Canadians does it take to change a light bulb? A survey shows we are lacking in practical skills at home and in the workforce.

The survey from Skills Canada says pulling out a hammer and hanging up a picture isn’t too much of a problem, but it’s about general knowledge.

Almost half of Canadians admit they don’t know how to install a bathroom or kitchen faucet or replace a zipper in an item of clothing (with 63 per cent of men admitting they can’t).

Shaun Thorson with the non-profit claims it’s not just around the home where we lack basic skills, but in the workforce too.

“If we want to continue to see economic growth then we need to fill some of those positions that are going to be left by people who are retiring.”

He thinks diversity of experience is not just good to change the odd flat tire (which over a quarter of us can’t do), it’s also beneficial for our economy.

“The skilled trade industry contributes about 50 per cent of Canada’s GDP.”

Thorson adds, “The growing shortage of skilled trade workers is not only a concern for industry, it is only a matter of time before every Canadian will feel the impact in their everyday lives.”

Skills Canada is hosting the 2012 Skills Canada National Competition, an Olympic-style, multi-trade and technology competition for young students and apprentices this May in Edmonton. They will compete in over 40 skilled trade and technology areas, ranging from construction, mobile robotics and cabinet making, to fashion technology, mechatronics and aircraft maintenance.