“Skills Work!® for Women” Networking Events
How many female electricians, millwright mechanics or carpenters do you know? With women accounting for less than 3% of the major trade groups in Canada, probably not many.
Guelph - For young women who are considering a career in the skilled trades and technologies, Skills Canada Ontario’s “Skills Work! for Women” Networking Dinners provide the ideal environment to learn and be inspired by women who have chosen the road less travelled. Women currently working in these fields share their career journeys in an informal setting and inspire their audience to think about the possibilities.
A skilled trades-focused event is taking place on Thursday, November 29th in Guelph, hosted by Skills Canada Ontario. See attached
95 female secondary students representing area school boards will be participating in the “Skills Work!®for Women” Networking Dinner to be held at the Frank Hasenfratz Centre of Excellence In Manufacturing, 700 Woodlawn Road West, Guelph, ON. They will be meeting with women who are currently working in every sector of the Skilled Trades and Technologies, including a Welder, Electronic Aerospace Technician, Horticultural Technician, Heavy Equipment Technician and a Carpenter.
Launched in 2000, these dinners underscore the value of meeting people, listening, asking questions and exchanging ideas. These interactive events ensure that young women have all the information they need to navigate the career decisions that lie beyond high school. Female students in grades 9-12 enjoy this opportunity to meet various tradeswomen who are interested in sharing information on a broad range of occupations, from welding to floristry.
Each year over 200 tradeswomen from across the province volunteer their time; by doing so they become the backbone of our young women’s programs. While these women come with a variety of experiences, ranging from new apprentices to having over 25 years of experience with their own business and multiple trades under their toolbelts, they all share one important message: “find what you love to do and you will never work a day in your life.” Most importantly, they are all passionate about what they do and demonstrate that women can excel at any career that interests them.
Just the Facts: The Skills Shortage
• Men dominate the trades 97 per cent in 2007. This gender gap represents a tremendous opportunity for women.
• More than 50% of skilled trades personnel are expected to retire by 2018.
• The Conference Board of Canada estimates Ontario could be short more than 560,000 skilled employees by 2030. The hardest-hit industries will be manufacturing, construction, petroleum production and transportation, according to the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP).
• Seven skilled trades provided work for about one million people in 2007, Statistics Canada reports. The occupations plumbers, carpenters, masons, electricians, machinists, mechanics and crane operators have seen steady employment growth since a brief decline during the mid-1990s.
• Workers are getting older, with the average age increasing to 41, a rise of four years since 1987 (CBC News, “Who’s Your Plumber?” October 24, 2008.)
• Skills Canada Ontario is not alone in working to address the gender gap in the skilled trades and technologies. For example, some high schools are now offering specific girls-only tech classes; the Ontario Women’s Directorate is funding women-only post secondary training programs; and associations such as Women in Nuclear and The Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT)’s Women and Diversity Committee offer industry-specific support, advocacy, mentorship and community.
• With more than 150 trades in Ontario, there is a skilled trade for every interest and aptitude.