OTTAWA, March 8, 2017 /CNW/ - Skills/Compétences Canada (SCC), a not-for-profit organization that actively promotes careers in skilled trades and technology is proud to formally endorse HeForShe – a solidarity movement for gender equality, which is led by the United Nations. Skills Canada is joined by its fellow Members of WorldSkills around the globe, in backing this vital push for gender equality in vocational education and skilled professions.
"Skills Canada aims to inform young Canadians that careers in the skilled trades are a viable and lucrative option for both genders. We hope that in the future more women will pursue opportunities in these fields," said Shaun Thorson, Chief Executive Officer, Skills Canada. According to a recent study published in 2016 by Buildforce Canada, only 4-5% of skilled workers in the construction and manufacturing sectors are women.
As a global movement that promotes access to vocational skills, WorldSkills believes that skills have no gender and that it is time that inequality in the workplace is eradicated.
"We aim to speak up for women, for young women and for girls," said the President of WorldSkills, Simon Bartley. "So, that they can feel empowered to take any career choice that they wish irrespective of the fact that that might be in an area that historically they may not have considered."
WorldSkills also believes that governments around the world must do more to remove inequality in the workplace. Recent analysis by the World Economic Forum showed that there are considerable gaps between female and male access to economic resources and opportunities. The degree of these inequalities varies from country-to-country but wherever they live women consistently earn less, have fewer jobs, and are in less senior roles than men.
HeForShe is a global campaign that was launched by UN Women to engage men and boys as advocates and stakeholders, to break the silence, raise their voices, and take action for the achievement of gender equality.
WorldSkills is a membership organization that promotes vocational skills around the world. Every two years it hosts the world championships of skills. With Members in more than 70 countries, it is the largest organization of its kind.
Member countries and regions of WorldSkills on every continent have endorsed the HeForShe campaign. In addition Members are hosting events to mark International Women's Day in numerous countries in Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, and the Americas.
The fight to end gender inequality in vocational education and skills will form a part of future WorldSkills events including at the next WorldSkills Competition, which will be held in Abu Dhabi in October 2017. Individuals that are interested in taking the HeForShe commitment can do so on the campaign's website.
About Skills Canada
Skills Canada was founded in 1989 as a national, not-for-profit organization with partner Skills Canada organizations in each of the provinces/territories that work with employers, educators, labour groups and governments to promote skilled trades and technology careers among Canadian youth. Its unique position among private and public sector partners enables it to work toward securing Canada's future skilled labour needs while helping young people discover rewarding careers. Skills Canada offers experiential learning opportunities including skilled trades and technology competitions for hundreds of thousands of young Canadians through regional, provincial/territorial, national and international events, as well as skilled trades awareness programs. Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Skills Canada is the Canadian Member organization of WorldSkills. For more information on Skills Canada and the HeForShe campaign go to www.skillscanada.com where you can also find information on female WorldSkills Team Canada 2017 competitors.
About WorldSkills International
WorldSkills is the global hub for skills excellence and development. Through international cooperation and development between industry, government, organizations, and institutions, we promote the benefits of and need for skilled professionals through grass-roots community projects, skill competitions, and knowledge exchange. We show how important skills education and training is for youth, industries, and society by challenging young professionals around the world to become the best in the skill of their choice. For more information, visit www.worldskills.org.
 The Global Gender Gap Report 2016 (www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-gender-gap-report-2016)
 HeForShe (www.heforshe.org)
SOURCE Skills/Compétences Canada
For further information: Skills Canada MEDIA CONTACT: Michèle Rogerson (Communications Content Specialist), 613-266-4771, [email protected]; WorldSkills International MEDIA CONTACT: Crispin Thorold (Director of Marketing and Communications), [email protected]