Number of Newfoundland and Labrador women in skilled trades increasing

Provincial government co-operating with trade unions to support educational and apprenticeship opportunities for women
||Last Updated: 01/08/2009

The Newfoundland and Labrador government wants more women in the skilled trades and is supporting initiatives towards that end.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Education signed a contract worth $100,000 with the Carpenters Millwright Union (CMU) to enhance the placement of female apprentices in the workplace. As part of the contract, the CMU will establish an office dedicated to women in apprenticeship, a work placement program to help women apprentices find the right training and keep track of the number of women apprentices in the province.

The CMU will also work with employers who have committed to hiring women apprentices to ensure they meet their goals as well as design a provincial awareness program on the need for increased female participation in apprenticeships to the skilled trades. The campaign will target workplaces, post-secondary institutions, industry associations and trade unions.

Newfoundland and Labrador already has a separate $400,000 agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to help bring more women to the electrical trade. It’s expected this initiative will see between 96 and 144 female electricians certified over the next few years. The government has also been working with the natural resource and energy sectors to develop women’s employment plans, including a gender equity and diversity program for the Hebron project.

Another promotional campaign is aimed at younger female students, encouraging them to register for six new high school skilled trades courses. The goal is to increase the female participation rate of these courses from the current 25 per cent to 50 per cent.

The number of women registering for skilled trades in the province has increased by 35 per cent since 2004, according to Joan Burke, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Education.

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