Canada helps women in Newfoundland and Labrador prepare for high‑demand and well‑paying jobs

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Canada’s changing economy and investments in infrastructure make skills training critical to our future. The Government recognizes the importance of building a diverse workforce and supporting women so they can launch careers in high-demand construction trades.

Today, Ken McDonald, Member of Parliament for Avalon (Newfoundland and Labrador), announced on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, funding of over $1 million to the Office to Advance Women Apprentices of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 579, for its Engaging and Enhancing Women in Apprenticeable Skilled Trades project.

Through this project, over 200 women from Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick will get support in a number of areas such as exposure to the skilled trades as a first-choice career option, leadership and safety skills training, welding certification in partnership with the Canadian Welding Bureau and employment supports, as well as networking opportunities to further pursue their certification.

This project is funded through the Women in Construction Fund, which supports projects building on existing models that have proven to be effective in attracting women to the construction trades. These include mentoring, coaching and tailored supports that help women to progress through their training and find jobs.

Approximately 2,800 women are expected to benefit from the Women in Construction Fund, which is receiving funding of $10 million over three years, starting in 2018-19.

Employers, provinces and territories, learning institutions, unions, community organizations and individuals all have key roles to play in Canada’s continued success in building a skilled, mobile and certified workforce that supports Canada’s labour market.


“The skilled trades represent high-quality, well-paid, middle‑class jobs that are critical to Canada’s economic growth. By funding this project, we are building a more diverse construction workforce, providing women with the necessary support to launch well-paying careers in high-demand construction trades.”

– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“Our government’s support for this project with the Office to Advance Women Apprentices will help women in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick become ready for good jobs in trades, build better lives for themselves and make their communities stronger.”

– Ken McDonald, Member of Parliament for Avalon (Newfoundland and Labrador).

“Atlantic Canada Regional Council of Carpenters, Millwrights and Allied Workers (ACRC) is delighted to continue our work with the Office to Advance Women Apprentices in Newfoundland and Labrador as they expand their line of services to tradeswomen in the province, and extend these services to other provinces in Atlantic Canada. This has been a very successful model and we are pleased that the federal government is investing in this great initiative.”

– Deb Romero, EST, ACRC

“This initiative complements our government’s ongoing work to strengthen the provincial workforce. This federal investment will help benefit women as they look to build their careers in the construction trades.”

– The Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour for Newfoundland and Labrador

“The Office to Advance Women Apprentices, funded by the provincial Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and managed under the Carpenters Unions, has had great success in connecting and advancing women in apprenticeship, and as we celebrate our 10th anniversary this year, we look forward to being able to expand some of our services through this Women in Construction Fund, through federal government funding.”

– Karen Walsh, Executive Director, Office to Advance Women Apprentices

Quick facts

  • Young women continue to be less likely than young men to express interest in a trade career. According to an OECD survey, only 2 percent of 15-year-old female students were planning to pursue a career in the skilled trades, and were more likely to be discouraged by their parents from pursuing a trade career than male students.

  • Women’s representation in Red Seal trades where women are under-represented was at 5 percent in 2017.

  • Women are concentrated in the three lowest-paying trades: bakers, cooks and hairstylists.

  • Fourteen percent of employment in Red Seal trades are women; however, they only earn around 9 percent of total hourly wages.

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