Empowering women to enter the skilled trades

Advanced Education Minister Nicolaides and MLA Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk, chair of Skilled Trades Caucus, participate in a demonstration at Women Building Futures with class lead Deanna Currie, and Shawna Cloutier, student.

Increased investment in Women Building Futures will create more opportunities for women to explore the skilled trades and get the training they need to launch careers in a variety of high-demand occupations.

The Government of Alberta is providing the non-profit career-building organization with $10 million over the next four years. The investment will ensure the province is able to meet the growing demand for skilled labour. Initial funding this year of $2.5 million will enable Women Building Futures to expand its programming.

“We are delivering on our promise to invest in the skilled trades. By supporting Women Building Futures, we will be able to achieve three key goals. First, we will address the growing shortage of skilled tradespeople in Alberta. Second, we are empowering women to purse rewarding careers in industries where women are traditionally under-represented. Third, this investment recognizes that apprenticeship learning and the skilled trades have every bit as much value, merit and worth as a university degree.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

“Across Alberta, there are strong, female leaders in fields such as science, trades, engineering and manufacturing. The leaders of today are paving the way for the women of tomorrow. Women Building Futures is a key initiative to ensure that those choosing to go into these fields have the education, information and support to place them on the path to success.”

Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women

“These women are inspiring. They have each overcome their struggles in pursuit of a better life and they all have very bright futures. I am incredibly proud of each and every one of them and I am thrilled that this investment will open up more opportunities for women to join the trades like I did.”

Jackie Armstrong Homeniuk, MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville, and chair of the Skilled Trades Caucus

“This multi-year investment by the Government of Alberta in Women Building Futures is about transforming women’s lives, families and communities. Women Building Futures will be able to expand our training to more women across Alberta. We know women are succeeding in the trades every single day, and Alberta’s labour market is going to need more skilled tradespeople to support our economy.”

Kathy Kimpton, president, Women Building Futures

Women Building Futures works alongside industry to offer training, mentoring and support for women considering a career in the trades. Currently, women represent only 5.3 per cent of the total participation in the construction and maintenance industry. This additional funding will enable the organization to expand its programming across the province and increase the participation rate of women, help the province address labour market shortages and support a growing economy.

Quick facts

  • Over the next five years, nearly 20,000 skilled trade workers are will be in a position to retire, with that number hitting more than 45,000 in 10 years.

Women Building Futures

  • Women Building Futures has a 90 per cent or better employment rate within six months of graduation.
  • The non-profit organization partners with industry to ensure training meets their skilled workforce requirements and leads to employment readiness for graduates.
  • Specific programming focuses on providing exposure to a variety of construction and maintenance occupations and apprenticeship programs, allowing graduates to choose the career that best suits them.

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