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Ontario expands women in skilled trades initiatives

DCN News Services
Ontario expands women in skilled trades initiatives

TORONTO — The Government of Ontario recently announced it is expanding its Investing in Women’s Futures initiative with a number of new measures that include a Women in Skilled Trades program and a General Women’s Employment Training program.

The expanded program was announced May 3, prior to the election call, and also includes programs to support centres that help women who face issues such as poverty, homelessness, unemployment and domestic violence.

The initiatives help women’s centres deliver services such as pre-employment supports, including employment counseling, computer training and life skills workshops. The program will also provide low-income women with skills and employment training through the Women’s Economic Security Program (WESP).

The province is funding 17 projects that will provide women with the training they need to progress their careers in sectors where they have been historically underrepresented, such as skilled trades and information technology, said the release.

Supported WESP projects include: the George Brown College for the Women Transitioning to Trades and Employment Project; the College Boreal for the Carpentry Pre-apprenticeship program; the Conestoga College Institute of Technology for the Enhanced General Carpentry Pre-apprenticeship program; the Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc. for the Industrial Mechanic Millwright CNC Pre-Apprenticeship program; the Centre for Skills Development and Training for the Industrial Mechanic Millwright CNC Pre-Apprenticeship program; the Six Nations Polytechnic for the We Are Welders Pre-apprenticeship program; and the Canadore College for the General Carpentry Pre-Apprenticeship program.

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Unfortunately every app we’ve had on jobs only last two – three years, then when the more substantial portions of the work begin, they decide to leave or look into another career. They’ve left for family, return to a college, one went the RCMP, another teaching. Some have even left to go into Unions but have never even been lead hands, run jobs as fire”people”, or held Service technician positions. It will be interesting to see if these initiatives and funding will produce the desired medium and long term objectives.


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