The B.C. government is teaming up with Sprott Shaw College and local employers to help close the gender gap in the Lower Mainland trades industry.
The Province is providing Sprott Shaw with $166,238 to offer Trades Futures for Women, a Project-Based Labour Market Training program that will give up to 28 unemployed women the skills they need to find work in construction trades. Richard T. Lee, MLA for Burnaby North, announced the funding Wednesday at Sprott Shaw’s School of Trades campus.
The goal of Trades Futures for Women is to help female job-seekers find meaningful, well-paying jobs while also giving employers a new crop of trained individuals who can walk on to job sites and succeed, while increasing the number of women in the trades industry.
The program gives its participants 12 weeks of group-based classroom instruction in a variety of trades such as carpentry, electrical work, plumbing and pipe-setting, before a seven-week job placement in a trade of their choice with local businesses. There, they will get real-world, on-the-job work experience they can use on their paths to finding work. They can also use their job-placement hours toward future apprenticeship opportunities, and are paid a stipend throughout the course of the program.
Once complete, they will be ready to enter the Lower Mainland’s competitive trades sector with the tools they need to succeed.
Nearly 90% of trade apprentices in B.C. are male, and this announcement builds on government’s effort to increase female representation in the trades sector and provide equal employment opportunities for all British Columbians.
Nine local trades businesses have partnered with the program to offer job-placement opportunities and have shown interest in increasing the number of women on their staffs. These employers are Mr. Rooter Plumbing, Summit Brooke Construction, DGS Construction, Trotter & Morgan Technologies, WSI Space Changers, Protec Installations Group, Excalibur Electric, Accurate Electric, and Custom Controls.
The program is based out of Sprott Shaw’s School of Trades Campus in Burnaby, and the first intake of participants began training on March 20. A second intake begins on June 30, 2017.
Funding for the project is provided through the Project-Based Labour Market Training stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships program.
Community and Employer Partnerships are featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provide more support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. They help build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them.
To date, more than 1,500 job seekers benefited from work experience and more than 270 projects have been funded throughout the province.
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –
“Helping women get the skills they need to find well-paying jobs in trades and other sectors is, and will be, a priority for our government and a key factor in B.C.’s economic success. Construction and development is booming in the Lower Mainland and it is important that we continue to provide training opportunities for British Columbians to be first in line for all of the new jobs that are being created in the region. This is a fantastic way to give female job-seekers a real chance to gain important skills and to find work in the trades-sector.”
Richard T. Lee, MLA for Burnaby North –
“As we look around the Lower Mainland, the construction boom continues to grow and it is important that we give British Columbians the chance to be first in line for the jobs that are being created because of it. I’m excited that we are able to offer this opportunity to a group of women to get the training and work experience that will put them in position to find jobs and join in on our strong, diverse and growing economy.”
Paul Newell, Sprott Shaw School of Trades –
“The training in this program prepares individuals for a very promising future in trades. It has a very successful past with Sprott Shaw and we are excited to offer this program for the first time with a focus on women.”
Indra, participant –
“This program gives me the greatest opportunity and propels me on a steady path for success.”
- In B.C., more than 3,900 women were registered in 75 different trades in 2015-16, a 180% increase since 2005-16.
- Last year, the B.C. government invested $400,000 to create a unique made-in-B.C. mentorship program to help women succeed in their path to become tradespeople.
- Since 2008-09, more than 3,600 women have been served through the Industry Training Authority’s Women in Trades Training program.
- As of March 31, 2016, there were 3,911 registered female apprentices in B.C., representing 10.3% of all registered apprentices.
- The 3,911 women were registered in 72 different trades, with 45% (1,778) registered in “non-traditional” trades (such as welders, carpenters, plumbers, construction electricians).
- Local WorkBC Employment Services Centres play a lead role in connecting eligible job seekers to Job Creation Partnership and Project-Based Labour Market Training opportunities in their communities. Once the right match of client to project has been found, the effort of the WorkBC Centre continues by providing financial supports and services to ensure success.
- In 2016-17, the ministry has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour market programs under the Employment Program of BC.
- The Employment Program of BC is funded by the Province of British Columbia as well as the Government of Canada through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
- Funding supports 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province and the five components of the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
- Job Creation Partnerships
- Labour Market Partnerships
- Project-Based Labour Market Training
- Research and Innovation
- Social Innovation
Who is eligible for Community and Employer Partnerships funding?
- Non-profit organizations
- Crown corporations
- Municipalities, agencies or territorial governments
- Bands/tribal councils
- Public health and educational institutions
Find out more about the BC Jobs Plan: https://bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca/
Learn more about Trades Futures for Women: http://sprottshaw.com/trades-futures-women/
For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP
Find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: www.workbccentres.ca
Learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: www.gov.bc.ca/sdsi
For more information on B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills