Published On: Monday, 14 March 2016

Women in Trades Receive Support from Province

Women in Trades Receive Support from Province
BC announced $1.8 million for the Women in Trades Training initiative through the Industry Training Authority to help support women to get the skills and training they need to start a career in the trades. (Photo Credit: BC Government)

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BC - The Government of British Columbia has announced $1.8 million in funding for the Women in Trades Training (WITT) initiative through the Industry Training Authority (ITA) to help support women to get the skills and training they need to start a career in the trades.

While there are more and more women pursuing trades careers in British Columbia, the percentage of male journeymen is still significantly higher than females. With the addition of nearly one million job openings expected in the province by 2024, women will play an increasingly important role in keeping B.C.’s economy diverse, strong and growing.

“If we want a strong and vibrant economic future, then it is key that strong and vibrant women help drive it,” Premier Christy Clark said. “A great opportunity for women to help drive the economy is through careers in the skilled trades. And the Women in Trades Training initiative will help give women the support and training they need to succeed.”

Through the Women in Trades Training Initiative, the Industry Training Authority has contracted Camosun College, Okanagan College, Thompson Rivers University and Tradeworks Training Society to deliver programs specifically designed to help women kick-start their trades career. These programs provide women with introductory trades training, technical training, an overview of various trade occupations, as well as job-placement support.

“There is growing interest in trade careers amongst women in B.C. and the Industry Training Authority is focussed on ensuring that the right resources and tools are in place to foster their curiosities into action,” says ITA CEO Gary Herman.

“ITA, in collaboration with the government, supports various aspects of the apprenticeship journey, including trades exploration, technical foundation training, resume building, job search and matching, and potential financial support for daycare, tool purchase, and transportation, through the Women in Trades Training funding model. With more women registering to become certified electricians, welders, and carpenters than ever before, the Province is on track to building a diverse, strong, and sustainable trade industry.”

These four WITT programs are currently open to applications and will benefit up to 234 female participants when the training concludes in September 2016.

Funding for the Women in Trades Training Initiative is provided through the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund Agreement under the Employment Services and Supports (ESS) stream. Through the Canada Job Fund, the Government of Canada provides British Columbia with a total of $65 million per year to deliver targeted training programs. The ESS stream is designed to assist British Columbians who are facing barriers in the labour market to develop essential job-readiness skills.

Quick Facts:

  • Since 2008-09, the WITT program has served more than 3,000 women.
  • There are approximately 4,200 registered women apprentices in the province across 72 different trades.
  • The percentage of women who are registered apprentices in B.C. is at 10.4%, up from 8.5% in 2009.
  • B.C. will have nearly one million job openings by 2024, due to retirements and economic growth. Almost eight out of 10 of these job openings will require post-secondary education or trades training.