Asian Heritage Month Feature: Kavitha Narayan Cariappa

Meet Kavitha Narayan Cariappa, a joinery apprentice in her first year and currently working at the Original Shutter Shop as a Wood Finisher/Painter. Recently, we asked Kavitha about how she got into the skilled trades and what Asian Heritage Month means to her.

How did you first hear about the skilled trades and what inspired you to pursue it as a career?

I was once part of a family that owns a wood finishing supplier business. As a South Asian woman I was not allowed to be part of it. My role as a woman was restricted so when I moved out in 2008, I decided to go back to school and pursue my current path through the Women in Trades program. I've worked as a wood finisher for the past 7 years.

What do you love most about working in the skilled trades?

I love the challenges of each day and knowing that there is always a solution to any problem. The trades have taught me that nothing is impossible. It's all mind over the body.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Traveling. Music that fuels my creativity, building and creating wood projects from scratch.

What does Asian Heritage Month mean to you?

Asian Heritage Month means everything to me. My South Asian culture is about strength, love, and endurance. I respect it with pride and dignity.

What advice do you have for anyone interested in trades? Particularly for others who are of Asian ethnicity?

I would say pursue what your heart desires. Nothing is impossible in the trades. All trades are intertwined with each other and as a woman today in Canada, we can move and explore any one of them without hesitation. There is a lot of support and help to find the right fit for you.

Anything else you'd like to share?

Time spent watching and guiding my two children grow into humble, independent and strong humans is precious to me.

Want to start your career as a cabinet maker?

Do you know an apprentice or employer champion?

The Champions of Apprenticeship are recognized for their outstanding achievements in BC apprenticeship system. These Champions are celebrated for their hard work in creating certified tradesworkers, supporting their industry and promoting apprenticeship. Do you know an outstanding employer sponsor or apprentice? Send us an email and nominate them to become a Champion of Apprenticeship!

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