Opportunities for women in trades
By Brittany Grimsdale, Sask Polytech WITT provincial facilitator (acting)
Right now there are excellent opportunities available for women considering a career in the trades. There are many grants, supports, resources and opportunities exclusively for women looking to start their career in the trades or ready for a career change.
This year Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU) announced the launch of provincial Offices to Advance Women Apprentices (OAWA) in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. The OAWA provide career services, employment supports and networking opportunities to help tradeswomen access training and secure employment.
Also new this year, Sask Polytech received funding from the Government of Canada to provide women, Indigenous people, newcomers and people with disabilities with training to work in the trades. The Creating Opportunities for Entry into the Trades program offers free three-day tours, one-week intro programs and 12-20 week applied certificate programs. This is an amazing opportunity for these groups interested in the trades, to learn more about their trade of interest and gain new skills as enrolment includes free tuition, free textbooks and free access to online course materials!
Sask Polytech’s Women in Trades & Technology (WITT) program is here to help women take advantage of all these opportunities! WITT supports tradeswomen on their training journey. WITT works with instructors, employers, professionals and non-profits to build curriculum for camps, workshops and mentorship programs. The goals are to teach women valuable skills, encourage women to think about different career options and address barriers that may limit women in trades and technology.
Before taking advantage of any of these exciting opportunities, I encourage women to do as much research as possible into which trade program is best suited for them. Consider if you will be working outdoors and how physically taxing the trade will be. Visit job sites and talk to other tradespeople about working in the industry. Once you’ve done your research, make an appointment with a WITT coordinator at Sask Polytech to discuss training options and what grants or scholarships are available to you!
For more information on the Sask Polytech’s Creating Opportunities for Entry into the Trades program visit saskpolytech.ca/coet.
For more information on Sask Polytech’s Women in Trades and Technology program visit saskpolytech.ca/witt.
This article was originally published in the Saskatchewan Construction Association's We Build magazine.
Published August 2019.