WINDSOR, ONT. — The federal government has announced a new recruitment program aimed at attracting 5,000 high school girls into the skilled trades.
The Build a Dream’s Career Exploration Expansion project was unveiled Feb. 13. A total of $728,000 in funding will be allocated to the program through the Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness program, which encourages all Canadians, and especially those from under-represented groups, to pursue careers in the skilled trades through career exploration, skills training and work experience, stated a release.
Targeted groups of the Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness program are women, Indigenous people, new Canadians, racial minorities, persons with disabilities and youth. The release said, “Women face barriers to entering the trades, largely due to a lack of mentors, difficulty finding an employer, discrimination and family obligations. Only nine per cent of Red Seal apprentices are women.”
As part of the two-year project, high school-age women will be encouraged to participate in such programs as career expos and exploratory workshops where they can “try a trade” and have access to an online resource where they can connect with skilled tradeswomen.
“With an ever-changing workforce, while skilled trades positions go unfilled, there is a need to encourage young women to explore career options they may not have previously considered. Bold action is needed,” stated Nour Hachem-Fawaz, Build a Dream president and founder, in the release.