B.C. announces support for women building a career in the trades

Ellen Cools
March 12, 2018
B.C. announces support for women building a career in the trades
Courtesy of the Province of British Columbia
March 12, 2018 — B.C. Premier John Horgan recently announced a number of programs to support women working or entering a career in the building trades through improved workplace supports, services and practices.

“Our construction industry is booming, but we’re facing a shortage of skilled workers in a number of trades,” said Premier Horgan. “Right now, only 5% of apprentices in the construction trades are women. Removing barriers to women’s participation will ensure women can get into these good-paying jobs.”

According to the government of B.C., less than 3% of working women in the province are in the building trades. A labour-market report released in fall 2017 recommended providing women with workplace supports.

Following a call for responses, the B.C. Construction Association and the B.C. Federation of Labour were selected to develop a range of programs.

Services and programs include:

• outreach and mentoring for tradeswomen;
• leadership-development training to improve workplace culture by addressing bullying and harassment in the workplace;
• employer-human resource supports, including a virtual team to help develop customized workplace policies, plus onsite mediation to manage staff situations; and
• exemplary employer campaigns to recognize employers

“There are only 3,600 registered female apprentices in B.C., but with 900,000 job openings expected by 2027, women play an important role in keeping our province’s economy diverse, strong and growing,” said Minister of Jobs Bruce Ralston.

The programs are directed at breaking down barriers to women who are seeking jobs in the construction trades, and removing bullying and harassment on the worksite.

Funding for the programs is expected to be up to $1.8 million over two years. The programs are funded through the Canada-B.C. Labour Market Development Agreement.

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