By Anthony Capkun
July 10, 2013 – According to the Government of British Columbia, there will be an estimated one million job openings in the province over the next decade, with opportunities in liquefied natural gas, mining and mineral exploration, and shipbuilding. Of those job openings, 43% will require trades and technical training.
Under the BC Jobs Plan, the government says it is investing more than $4 million in 2013-14 through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement to enable 675 women to access mentorship opportunities and trades training programs, complete skills upgrading, and receive financial support for childcare, transportation, tools and equipment.
These funds support programs like the Industry Training Authority’s (ITA) Women in Trades Training Initiative (WITT), which provides information and training to open doors for women who want to pursue a career like Electrician.
Okanagan College’s program “Gateway to the Building Trades for Women” is just one example, cites the government, of its commitment to investing in programs that enable women to make informed career decisions, become knowledgeable about how to pursue trades foundation and apprenticeship training, and also how to seek out employment in their chosen field.
The Mothers to Miners program at Northern Lights College is another program supported through the Employment Skills Access (ESA) initiative. This program helped prepare women in northern B.C. for positions at a surface mine operation, explains the province, giving working mothers a better opportunity to participate in the local mining industry by designing work hours around family and school schedules.
Government investment in conferences like the “Skilled Trades for Women” is helping young women in Grades 9-12 discover possibilities in a range of industries, boasts the government, while providing opportunities to network with women who have found success in trades and technology careers.
“We’re making progress, but we can do better,” adds the province. “By working together with industry, employers, post-secondary partners and women throughout B.C., we can meet the growing demand for skilled tradespeople and make sure that women are finding opportunity, job satisfaction and good pay in the skilled trades.”