Harper Government supports opportunities for women in the skilled trades

TORONTO, Aug. 25, 2014 /CNW/ - Ted Opitz, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke—Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, spoke on Saturday about the importance of recruiting and advancing women in the skilled trades.  Mr. Opitz made his remarks at the 2014 National Apprenticeship Contest, hosted by the Carpenters' Local Union 27 Joint Apprenticeship and Training Trust Fund in Toronto, Ontario.

The event celebrated the skills and expertise of Canada's top apprentices from several trades, as well as recognizing the accomplishments of the contestants and drawing attention to the enormous value the skilled trades bring to the Canadian economy.

Mr. Opitz highlighted the measures put in place by the Government of Canada to encourage women to enter into the skilled trades. For example, through Status of Women Canada, the federal government has provided over $12 million for community-based projects that support women in non-traditional occupations.

Quick Facts

  • While women have made gains in some non-traditional fields, they continue to have low representation in the skilled trades and other traditionally male-dominated professions. For example, in 2012, women held just 11.8% of construction jobs, 19% of forestry, fishing, mining, oil, and gas jobs, and 30.5% of agricultural jobs.
  • In 2011, women accounted for only 14% of registered apprentices, and were concentrated in certain trades, including as hairstylists (80%) and cooks (about 30%), with small proportions in most other trades. For example, women account for only 2% of carpentry apprentices, 1.9% of plumbing apprentices, and 1.5% of heavy equipment mechanic apprentices.
  • Since 2007, the Government of Canada has invested more than $54 million through the Women's Program at Status of Women Canada for projects that improve women's economic security and prosperity. This includes over $12 million for projects that support women in non-traditional occupations, including construction.


"Our Government recognizes the important role women play in our economy and is committed to creating new economic opportunities for them to prosper in every sector, including the skilled trades. This is good for women, good for industry and good for the economy."

The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch
Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

"The Government of Canada is investing in opportunities for women to succeed in communities across the country. This includes funding projects that support women's participation in non-traditional fields, like the skilled trades. By advancing more Canadian women into important industries like construction, we are helping them to succeed and Canada to prosper."

Ted Opitz
Member of Parliament for Etobicoke—Centre

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Photos of Minister Leitch are available.  

Ce texte est également disponible en français.

For news releases and information on Status of Women Canada, go to women.gc.ca.


SOURCE: Status of Women Canada

For further information: For media inquiries only: Andrew McGrath, Acting Director of Communications, Office of the Hon. Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C., O.Ont., M.P., Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, Tel: 819-953-5646, andrew.mcgrath@labour-travail.gc.ca; For all other inquiries: Nanci-Jean Waugh, Director General, Communications and Public Affairs, Status of Women Canada, Tel: 819-420-6810


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