A “Your Daughter, Her Trade” event, hosted by the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board’s Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) on April 10th, celebrated women in the trades.
The purpose of the session was to bring awareness to female students of opportunities in non-traditional trades, said OYAP Coordinator, Maria Calabrese. Designed for female secondary students currently enrolled in an apprenticeship program, or with an interest in the skilled trades, the evening was attended by 21 students and their parents who had an opportunity to network with female mentors, teachers and board staff over dinner and a keynote address.
The evening’s keynote was delivered by Jamie McMillan, founder of Journeyman, a national program that supports, promotes and mentors women in the skilled construction trades.
An ironworker and boilermaker as well as a motivational speaker, McMillan shared her career journey and provided insight to the students on the many pathways available in skilled trades.
Education Training Consultants from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development also spoke about financial supports, and immense opportunity for employment as labour market continues to experience a shortage of skilled trade workers.
Currently 165 female students from the board’s seven Catholic secondary schools participate in an OYAP placement, with 49 working towards their certification in a trade.
“Prospects for females in the trades are very good,” indicated Calabrese. “More and more employers are looking to balance their work force to include the skill set that females bring to the trades. The labour market is continuing to show that there is a skilled trades shortage, and there is a high demand for skilled tradespeople in our local community and nationwide.”
She added “Your Daughter, Her Trade” was designed to introduce female students to the broad range of pathway options.
The event is an opportunity “to showcase our young, eager young ladies in secondary school doing pathway planning.”