VANCOUVER, June 18, 2019 /CNW/ - This week, the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF-FCA) hosted apprentices, tradeswomen, representatives from women's organizations, labour groups, employers, educators and jurisdictional apprenticeship authorities at the second Supporting Women in Trades Conference. More than 300 delegates gathered to share ideas and engage in conversation about female participation in the skilled trades. Participants perceive the skilled trades as a viable career option for women, believe there is an opportunity to be successful and a rising tide to remove barriers women encounter pursuing careers in which they are traditionally under-represented.
The conference agenda showcased promising practices and the many great initiatives underway across Canada to attract, prepare, up-skill and support women in the skilled trades. A conference track designed specifically for female apprentices, practicing tradeswomen and those engaged in work that addresses barriers was offered in order to provide them with an opportunity to inform the development of a national strategy around the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in the skilled trades.
Building on the success of the inaugural 2018 Supporting Women in Trades event, where the Road Map to Supporting Women in Trades was developed, the skilled trades and apprenticeship community gathered to propose ideas on how to move from the road map to a 'how to get there' plan.
"We know what the barriers are, and we are finished contemplating those. Last year, conference attendees told us where we need to go. This year, they told us what we need to do, collectively, to get there", said France Daviault, Executive Director of CAF-FCA. "We need to listen and work together to create sustainable change. They told us that we need to set targets as a country – what gets measured gets done", she continued.
CAF-FCA will create a task force to keep the work moving along and get consensus on what the targets should be.
The next CAF-FCA Supporting Women in Trades Conference will be held in 2021. Until then, CAF-FCA will continue to gather input from the skilled trades community, define desired outcomes and future initiatives.
About CAF-FCA The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF-FCA) is a national non-profit organization focused on all aspects of apprenticeship training. We conduct research, highlight promising practices, connect stakeholders and promote careers in the skilled trades.