Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

CWB Welding Foundation launches Introduction to Welding Program for Women with Funding from the Government of Canada

August 19, 2019 – Regina, SK – The CWB Welding Foundation’s “Women of Steel: Forging New Opportunities” introductory welding program is taking place at Saskatchewan Polytechnic August 19-23, 2019. This 30 hour pre-employment technical skills development program, developed by the Canadian Welding Bureau, will be delivered across Canada this year in collaboration with six post-secondary institutions. The program is generously funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness Program.

“Our ‘Women of Steel: Forging New Opportunities-Introduction to Welding Program (IWP)’ aims to encourage women to explore careers in welding, building awareness and clarifying perceptions for improved understanding of potential opportunities and rewards of this career path. It will provide introductory real work experiences, provide a pathway to employment in various industries where the welding trade is experiencing skills shortages, assist participants in making informed career choices, and help them to develop the skills needed to find and keep rewarding, well-paying jobs in the trade and labour market across Canada,” said Susan Crowley, executive director, CWB Welding Foundation.

The CWB Welding Foundation’s 30 hour Introduction to Welding Program has been created using the CWB Group’s proprietary Acorn learning curriculum. In this, its inaugural year, the IWP will be offered in six cities, inclusive of women across all target demographics. The program has been strategically designed to foster personal and career development for participants while supporting Canadian industry faced with both current and projected shortages of highly skilled employees across welding and associated trades. Registrations to date indicate interest is at an all time high, with programs filled and wait-listed.

Women comprise only 4.5 per cent of the skilled trades labour pool, so it is imperative that the welding industry dedicates the required efforts to recruit more female skilled trades workers and eradicate misconceptions about the trades being a male-dominated environment.

“Saskatchewan Polytechnic appreciates our partnership with the CWB Welding Foundation and we are proud to host the Women of Steel: Forging New Opportunities program,” says Dr. Larry Rosia, Saskatchewan Polytechnic president and CEO. “Programs like this encourage women to pursue their interests in the trades, specifically welding. The goal of Sask Polytech’s Women In Trades and Technology (WITT) program is to bridge the employment gap between men and women in trades and technology careers. This innovative CWB Welding Foundation program is helping to accomplish that goal.”

The following list represents the inaugural partners and locations for the 2019 Introduction to Welding Program:

City Province/Territory Host Location Dates
Edmonton Alberta Alberta Pipe Trades College August 5-9, 2019
Tiverton Ontario Fanshawe College August 12-16, 2019
Ottawa Ontario Algonquin College August 19-23, 2019
Regina Saskatchewan Saskatchewan Polytechnic August 19-23, 2019
Moncton New Brunswick New Brunswick Community College August 26-30, 2019
Whitehorse Yukon Territories Yukon College September 9-13, 2019

The CWB Welding Foundation would like to thank the Government of Canada for their generous support as they have been instrumental in the launch of this program.

The Women of Steel: Forging New Opportunities project consists of two components; the IWP and the social media platform, #WomenOfSteel. Both components aim to engage and unite women in both traditional and non-traditional welding careers across Canada and to highlight and inform experienced and new female welders’ career journeys into welding. Currently over 40 women across Canada are actively involved in the WOS social component.

CWB Welding Foundation is offering a total of 31 experiential learning opportunities across Canada in 2019, including 6 WOS: Forging New Opportunities- IWP, 19 Mind Over Metal Welding Camps, and six LNG Canada Arx and Sparx Welding Camps. These opportunities rely on the financial support of industry and community organizations to continue offering hands-on learning and exposure to the welding skilled trade to youth, women, Indigenous, and underrepresented groups.

The CWB Welding Foundation

CWB Welding Foundation (CWBWF) is a national not-for-profit charitable organization, working to support and sustain the need for skilled welding professionals in the workforce and contribute to Canada’s economic prosperity.

CWBWF’s mission is to forge partnerships between industry, education and government that enable Canadians to build great careers in the welding industry, through encouraging awareness, training, the promotion of best practices through a quality educational experience, impartial advocacy and greater accessibility for all those interesting in exploring future opportunities in skilled trades and a welding related career.

CWBWF develops and provides educational programs, capital, equipment, consumables and protective equipment that create and upgrade quality learning environments in school technology programs. They provide educator training, awards, and support applied research in post-secondary welding and technology education.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student needs, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.