Local women in trades had an opportunity to meet and connect with local employers, training providers, unions and industry at the northern B.C. region Power Up Women in Trades forum, held yesterday at the New College of Caledonia.
Over 35 apprentices, tradeswomen, and employers participated in the event, sponsored and organized by the Industry Training Authority’s (ITA) Women in Trades Training (WITT) initiative. Participants shared experiences and suggestions for strategies to recruit and retain women Apprentices in the region.
“The Women in Trades Training initiative is part of a long term strategy to match skilled workers to the needs of BC’s workplace,” says Erin Johnston, Director of Trades Training at ITA. “We need to hear from women Apprentices and their sponsors, as to what is working and what we can do better in the future.”
“The College of New Caledonia would like to thank the ITA for hosting such an excellent event at the College,” says Randall Heidt, executive director, External Relations, College of New Caledonia. “It has allowed participants to better understand the experiences of current women in trades, as well as those who are aspiring towards a career in the trades. It is clear to us having more women in the trades is beneficial to everyone involved, and CNC looks forward to working with the ITA to create more opportunities for women to be successful in these great careers.”
The WITT initiative is funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement (LMA) and is overseen by ITA, the provincial crown agency responsible for managing BC’s industry training and apprenticeship system. Since 2008/9, over 2,100 women have been supported through the WITT program in B.C. In the Northern B.C. region, WITT programs are offered through Skilled Trades Employment Program (STEP).
For more information on ITA, WITT, and upcoming forums, visit www.itabc.ca.