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News   September 11, 2019   by Allan Janssen

CAF to spearhead national strategy for women in trades

The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF) says it will develop a National Strategy for Women in Trades by 2020.

The forum has announced that a task force of its members from across the country will oversee the development of a strategy, based on extensive consultations with stakeholders.

“Our country is going to need thousands of new trades professionals in the next five years, and the creation of a National Strategy to help attract more women to the trades will be critical to meeting labour market and economic needs,” said Shelley Gray, CEO of B.C’s Industry Training Authority and task force participant. “To do this, it’s important to develop workplaces that are welcoming, positive, and inclusive of everyone interested in pursuing an apprenticeship.”

The task force is comprised of apprentices, tradeswomen, representatives from women’s organizations, labour groups, employers, educators and jurisdictional apprenticeship authorities. It will inform specific strategy content and establish a national target to increase participation and retention of females in skilled trades careers.

“We already know what the barriers are,” said France Daviault, executive director of CAF-FCA. “Insights from this task force, along with 20 years of CAF national research in the area will provide a clear direction on how to create sustainable change.”

She said the entire skilled trades community needs to work together and set targets for increasing female participation.

“What gets measured gets done,” she said.

The The National Strategy for Women in Trades will be presented at the National Apprenticeship Conference in Calgary, Alta., on May 24-26, 2020.

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