Women in Power
New apprenticeship conference in Halifax supports women in trades
By Peter Saunders
November 20, 2018 – On Nov. 6 and 7, the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF) hosted its inaugural Supporting Women in Trades (SWIT) Conference in Halifax, bringing together more than 350 delegates to discuss female participation in electrical work and skilled trades.
The delegates included apprentices, employers, educators, labour group and women’s organization representatives, jurisdictional apprenticeship authorities and, CAF reports, one of the largest-ever assembled groups of tradeswomen in Canada (pictured). They discussed opportunities to remove barriers to careers where women are traditionally underrepresented.
Specifically, CAF explains the current rate of representation of female apprentices in Canada is just 12%. As such, the conference agenda showcased initiatives to better attract girls at an earlier age to the trades, through increased awareness, and then to prepare them with the necessary, up-to-date skills.
In the wake of the inaugural event, CAF is developing a ‘road map,’ to be published in early 2019, and is actively planning another annual SWIT conference.