Attracting women to the skilled trades will be the focus of a special workshop Tuesday night at Fanshawe College.
In partnership with the local school boards, Skills Ontario, and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programs, 50 local high school girls and their mothers will be spending the evening meeting, networking, and enjoying a meal with the woman who’ve come before them.
Fanshawe is hoping to attract more women to skilled trades work after realizing only two per cent of the students in their construction trades courses were women.
Skilled Trades & Apprenticeship Consultant with Fanshawe, Karen Kloibhofer, helped organize the event. Kloibhofer told AM980 they held a similar event at the Lamplighter last year, but wanted to provide a more immersive atmosphere this year.
“We’re going to actually have dinner in the automotive shop, and then they’ll do breakout sessions in a couple of the different classrooms here. One that’s going to be manufacturing focused for the industrial sector, one that will be the construction sector, another one that will be the automotive power sector and then our service sector. Our mentors will all be in another room so they can talk one-on-one with them.”
The Skills Work! For Women Career Exploration workshop goes from 5 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. at the Centre for Applied Transportation Technologies.
Fanshawe College started a pilot project this year, holding women’s only labs as a way to encourage more women to learn construction trades.
Kloibhofer one of the goals of the event is to get on the radar of young women who are looking to choose a career.
“We want them to meet some of the women who have gone before them, who have been in the trades, so they can see themselves in that role potentially in the future. We have some skilled trade shortages coming up and we need to fill them.”
A previous report by the Conference Board of Canada found the labour shortfall could reach nearly a million workers by 2020.
(photo courtesy Richard Baker)