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Laura Tejeda is a columnist with LCCMedia

Women in Skilled Trades, a Great Opportunity | Laura Tejeda Meza

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Looking for a new job and financial security at a low cost? Try the skilled trades and be part of the women who are making a difference in this so-needed industry.

A skilled trade is a job that requires a specific set of skills in a particular area of expertise. Therefore, typically they require a certification or special training. Some of the industries within the skilled trade jobs are automotive, manufacturing, services and construction.

Even if the skilled trades in Canada (and around the world) are a predominantly male-dominated field, there is about 5 percent of skilled trade jobs are performed by women, a percentage that needs to increase, as well as it gives huge beneficial opportunities for women.

Why They are a Big Opportunity?

Attracting more women into the trades is critical to the survival of these jobs, as there is a national shortage of human labour in skilled trades. In fact, I remember that while postulating for my permanent residency, there were several calls and reminders about the needs and advantages of skilled workers. Furthermore, having more women in the trades will be an opportunity for gender diversity and parity in the industry.

Women are as capable as males, and thus, with the proper training (like every worker), they will have no problem hiring them. This is without mentioning that as the demand for workers is high, women can ask a higher pay and get job security, just like the law of supply and demand establishes.

Another fact to consider is that education in trades is more affordable and shorter than going to college, for instance. A career in skilled trades also provides instant personal gratification because the effects of your job will be immediate and palpable since the trades are manual jobs.

Although more women are finding it lucrative and fulfilling to work in male-dominated skilled trades, there are cultural and structural issues that may not make the trades particularly appealing or welcoming for women, such as acceptance that it takes time for a woman to ‘prove’ that she can actually do the job.

Government’s Support

The Canadian federal government is committed to gender parity in all jobs, including the trades. Thus, it presents several incentives to encourage more female workers to enter skilled trades, such as financing opportunities and money bonuses for those who are training for employment in a male-dominated field. Provinces are not left behind: Alberta had observed a slow but consistent, increase in the number of women apprentices. In fact, about 5,700 women apprentices were registered in that province last year, a 20 percent increase from 2021.

According to the provincial government statements, Alberta’s economy remains strong and continues to grow; it is important the province’s skilled labour supply grows with it. That’s one of the reasons the Budget 2023 provides $10.7 million to Women Building Futures —a non-profit organization that helps unemployed and underemployed women explore a future in the skilled trades, where they can gain paid, on-the-job experience and build a career— to support women seeking to build a career in the skilled trades.

It is in the interest of all of us, as a society, to harness the “female muscle” in industry, and especially in the skilled trades arena!


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Why Women Should Consider a Job in Skilled Trades

Why We Need More Women in These Particular Careers Than Ever Before

Why women are choosing careers in skilled trades

Province announces investment to support women in the skilled trades


Laura has been very busy this week with LCCMedia. 

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