A federal program to support women in the skilled trades is offering funding for projects that recruit, train and mentor women apprentices. Qualifying organizations could receive up to $3 million over two years through the Women in Skilled Trades Initiative.
Private and not-for-profit businesses, unions, provincial and municipal governments and Indigenous organizations can apply for funding to cover up to 90 per cent of eligible projects. These present a range of options to open up opportunities for women in 39 Red Seal trades — primarily in construction and manufacturing — through direct apprenticeships; training partnerships with community colleges, unions or employers; or various support services such as childcare, networking forums and resources for workplace protection and advocacy.
“Canada needs more skilled trades workers,” says Carla Qualtrough, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion. “That’s why we’re focused on helping traditionally marginalized persons — women, persons with disabilities, 2SLGBTQI+, Indigenous peoples, and racialized people — get the resources and training they need to start a career in the skilled trades.”
The initiative aligns with a target and $43.5 million budget to recruit and/or advance 10,900 women within the skilled trades over the four-year period from 2023-24 to 2026-27. The deadline for applications is December 1, 2022 with expectations that approved projects will begin in the summer of 2023.
There will also be a focus on supporting projects from diverse regions of Canada and organizations with existing experience in recruiting and training women for the skilled trades in the disbursement of funding.