PARADISE, NL, July 31, 2019 /CNW/ - Canada's changing economy and investments in infrastructure make skills training critical to our future. The Government recognizes the importance of building a diverse workforce and supporting women so they can launch careers in high-demand construction trades.
Today, Ken McDonald, Member of Parliament for Avalon (Newfoundland and Labrador), announced on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, funding of over $1 million to the Office to Advance Women Apprentices of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 579, for its Engaging and Enhancing Women in Apprenticeable Skilled Trades project.
Through this project, over 200 women from Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick will get support in a number of areas such as exposure to the skilled trades as a first-choice career option, leadership and safety skills training, welding certification in partnership with the Canadian Welding Bureau and employment supports, as well as networking opportunities to further pursue their certification.
This project is funded through the Women in Construction Fund, which supports projects building on existing models that have proven to be effective in attracting women to the construction trades. These include mentoring, coaching and tailored supports that help women to progress through their training and find jobs.
Approximately 2,800 women are expected to benefit from the Women in Construction Fund, which is receiving funding of $10 million over three years, starting in 2018–19.
Employers, provinces and territories, learning institutions, unions, community organizations and individuals all have key roles to play in Canada's continued success in building a skilled, mobile and certified workforce that supports Canada's labour market.
"The skilled trades represent high-quality, well-paid, middle‑class jobs that are critical to Canada's economic growth. By funding this project, we are building a more diverse construction workforce, providing women with the necessary support to launch well-paying careers in high-demand construction trades."
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
"Our government's support for this project with the Office to Advance Women Apprentices will help women in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick become ready for good jobs in trades, build better lives for themselves and make their communities stronger."
– Ken McDonald, Member of Parliament for Avalon (Newfoundland and Labrador).
"Atlantic Canada Regional Council of Carpenters, Millwrights and Allied Workers (ACRC) is delighted to continue our work with the Office to Advance Women Apprentices in Newfoundland and Labrador as they expand their line of services to tradeswomen in the province, and extend these services to other provinces in Atlantic Canada. This has been a very successful model and we are pleased that the federal government is investing in this great initiative."
– Deb Romero, EST, ACRC
"This initiative complements our government's ongoing work to strengthen the provincial workforce. This federal investment will help benefit women as they look to build their careers in the construction trades."
– The Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour for Newfoundland and Labrador
"The Office to Advance Women Apprentices, funded by the provincial Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and managed under the Carpenters Unions, has had great success in connecting and advancing women in apprenticeship, and as we celebrate our 10th anniversary this year, we look forward to being able to expand some of our services through this Women in Construction Fund, through federal government funding."
– Karen Walsh, Executive Director, Office to Advance Women Apprentices
- Young women continue to be less likely than young men to express interest in a trade career. According to an OECD survey, only 2 percent of 15-year-old female students were planning to pursue a career in the skilled trades, and were more likely to be discouraged by their parents from pursuing a trade career than male students.
- Women's representation in Red Seal trades where women are under-represented was at 5 percent in 2017.
- Women are concentrated in the three lowest-paying trades: bakers, cooks and hairstylists.
- Fourteen percent of employment in Red Seal trades are women; however, they only earn around 9 percent of total hourly wages.
The Government of Canada invests significantly in apprenticeship through grants, loans, tax credits, Employment Insurance benefits during in-school training and project funding, such as for Union Training and Innovation Program projects.
Women in Construction Fund
Budget 2018 announced the Women in Construction Fund with an investment of $10 million over three years to increase the participation of women in construction trades by helping them progress through their training and retain jobs in the trades.
The Women in Construction Fund, which is expected to benefit approximately 2,000 women over three years, supports projects that target the Red Seal construction trades and focus on:
- attracting and recruiting women into the trades (e.g. site visits, hands-on experiences and career exploration);
- supporting apprentice training and skills development through upgrading of essential skills and a continuum of tailored services for women (e.g. child care, transportation, purchase of tools, coaching and mentoring); and
- supporting employers by developing recruitment and retention tools and supports based on best practices for inclusive and respectful workplaces.
A wide range of organizations and partnerships are eligible for the program, including women's non‑profit organizations, employer and industry associations, unions, training providers, and provinces and territories.
Three-year projects were solicited in 2018 through a targeted solicitation process with a wide range of organizations and partners eligible for this program, including women's non‑profit organizations, employer and industry associations, unions, training providers, and provinces and territories. Projects are currently underway.
Union Training and Innovation Program
Through a $25 million annual investment, the Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP):
- helps unions improve the quality of training through investments in up-to-date training equipment and materials;
- supports innovative approaches and partnerships with other stakeholders to address challenges limiting apprenticeship outcomes; and
- reduces barriers to participation and success in the trades for key groups including women and Indigenous people.
UTIP has two streams:
- The Investments in Training Equipment Stream (Stream 1) helps unions purchase new and up-to-date training equipment. Continuous technological change puts pressure on training providers to ensure workers are developing the right skills needed on the job site.
- The Innovation in Apprenticeship Stream (Stream 2) focuses on innovative approaches to address challenges limiting apprenticeship outcomes, including barriers to participation and success in the trades for key groups such as women and Indigenous people. This stream is open to a range of stakeholders and partners, but unions need to be involved, either as the lead or as a partner on projects.
The Government has approved 109 UTIP projects, including 34 in 2017–18 and 75 in 2018–19.
Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness program
Budget 2018 announced the Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness program to encourage Canadians—including those who face barriers, such as women, Indigenous people, newcomers, people with disabilities and youth—to explore and prepare for careers in the skilled trades.
The program supports pre-apprenticeship training, including:
- Career exploration opportunities to build awareness of the trades as a viable, good‑quality careers through means such as "try a trade" events, career fairs, job shadowing and mentorships.
- Skills training to help participants upgrade their essential skills, such as literacy and numeracy, and technical skills so they are ready for apprenticeship training.
- Work experience to explore the trades with hands-on job experience, form connections with employers, and increase employment readiness.
To further support the skilled trades, the Government proposed in Budget 2019, additional new investments:
- $40 million over four years in funding for Skills Canada, starting in 2020–21, and
- $10 million per year ongoing to encourage more young people to consider training and work in the skilled trades;
- $6 million over two years, starting in 2019–20, to create a national campaign to promote the skilled trades as a first-choice career for young people;
- a new Apprenticeship Strategy to ensure that existing supports and programs available to apprentices address the barriers faced by those who want to work in the skilled trades and support employers who face challenges in hiring and retaining apprentices;
- a lower interest rate on Canada Apprentice Loans, starting in 2019–20, and making the first six months after a borrower completes their apprenticeship training interest-free; and
- the new Canada Training Benefit, which would give workers money to help pay for training, provide income support during training, and offer job protection so that workers can take the time they need to keep their skills relevant and in demand.
Since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Grants, almost 834,000 grants have been issued to Canadians, representing over $1 billion in funding. This includes:
- over 592,000 Apprenticeship Incentive Grants;
- over 1,500 Apprenticeship Incentive Grants for Women; and
- 240,400 Apprenticeship Completion Grants.
As Canada's economy continues to grow and create good, well-paying jobs, the Government is committed to ensuring that all Canadians share in and benefit from this success.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Shannon Duff, Communications Manager to Ken McDonald, Member of Parliament for Avalon, [email protected], 120 Conception Bay Highway, Suite 105, Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador, c: 709-725-7428, t: 709-834-3424; Ryan Crocker, Media Relations Manager, Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, 709-729-1795, 709-725-9595; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]