Feds announce $728K local investment to attract female high school students to skilled trades

Thursday, February 13, 2020

CBC Windsor

Federal Labour Minister Filomena Tassi was in Windsor on Wednesday to announce a new $728,000 investment intended to attract female high school students to skilled trades jobs.

The funds are part of the federal Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness program and will be provided to Build a Dream — a Windsor not-for-profit organization designed to encourage women and girls to pursue careers in skilled trades and STEM careers.

Build a Dream will use the investment to fund its Career Exploration Expansion project.

The project will enable Build a Dream to establish expos and workshops where women and girls  can try different trades, as well as have access to an online resource that connects them with skilled professionals. 

The federal government estimated that approximately 5,000 girls across Canada will benefit from the project. 

"Our government's support for this project with Build a Dream will help Windsor's young women in high school get ready for good jobs in the skilled trades, build better lives for themselves and make their communities stronger," said Tassi. 

According to numbers from the Canadian Occupational Projection System, approximately 700,000 Canadian skilled trades workers are expected to retire between 2019 and 2028. 

"With an ever-changing workforce, while skilled trades positions go unfilled, there is a need to encourage young women to explore career options they may not have previously considered," said Nour Hachem-Fawaz, president and founder of the Build a Dream non-profit. "Bold action is needed."

Numbers from the 2018 Registered Apprenticeship Information System show that only nine per cent of Red Seal apprentices are women. 

The Red Seal Program sets standards to determine the skills of tradespeople across Canada.