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Canadian apprenticeship forum programs for women inspire inclusion

Canadian apprenticeship forum programs for women inspire inclusion

Ottawa, ON – To mark International Women’s Day, the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF-FCA) is celebrating the achievements of tradeswomen and gender diverse individuals working in the construction, manufacturing, transportation, and service sectors.

The recruitment and retention of women in the skilled trades is an ongoing challenge based on CAF-FCA’s data analysis. In 2022, 5.8% of apprentices were women based on the total registrations for construction, manufacturing, and transportation trades. Women’s completion rates are consistently lower than men’s. In 2021, men had a 47% completion rate and women 34%. Unwelcoming workplaces, isolation, a lack of mentoring and limited advancement opportunities are common barriers for women.

CAF-FCA and its more than 180 members who are employers, unions, educators, jurisdictions, and equity priority groups, are addressing these barriers by investing in career advancement in the skilled trades. Professional development training in leadership and mentoring is being offered to upper-level apprentices and journeypersons at no cost. The programs are open to women and gender diverse individuals who want to become future leaders and mentors. The Leadership Program, which is powered by RBC, is already having a tangible impact.

As France Daviault, CEO at CAF-FCA, observed, “The program is having a positive impact on women’s lives. After taking the program, women now have the confidence and knowledge about leadership to advance in their careers. Many have already received promotions and are keen to mentor and support others in the skilled trades. A higher number of women in leadership positions means more women apprentices will be hired and supported throughout their training. CAF-FCA and RBC are helping contribute to this positive change.”

National Leadership Development Program for Women in the Trades:

Summary of program: Individuals enrolled in the National Leadership Development Program participate in five modules and engage in group discussions facilitated by subject matter experts and tradeswomen coaches. These coaches will provide valuable guidance for overcoming workplace challenges, especially pertaining to developing effective leadership skills and strategies. Additionally, program participants benefit from personalized one-on-one coaching to address their specific needs and have access to online materials on leadership skills, styles, and strategies. This program helps to empower women and gender diverse individuals to become effective future leaders in the skilled trades.

National Mentor Development Program for Women in the Trades:

Summary of program: Individuals enrolled in the National Mentor Development Program participate in five modules and engage in group discussions facilitated by subject matter experts and tradeswomen coaches. These coaches will provide valuable guidance for overcoming workplace challenges, especially pertaining to developing effective mentorship relationships. Additionally, program participants benefit from personalized one-on-one coaching to address their specific needs and have access to online materials on mentoring, including giving and receiving constructive feedback. This program helps to empower women and gender diverse individuals to become effective mentors and future leaders in the skilled trades.

For more information, visit: leadership.caf-fca.org



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