ITA recognizes accomplishments of women in trades during 10th anniversary

It’s the 10th anniversary of Women in Trades Training (WITT) programs in B.C

It’s the 10th anniversary of Women in Trades Training (WITT) programs in B.C., and Industry Training Authority (ITA) is celebrating the achievements of students and training providers across the province, including Okanagan College in Kelowna, who is recognizing the 1,000th woman entering its skilled trades program.

WITT programs were created to increase the number of female apprentices and women in trades in B.C. ITA has served more than 4,100 women across the province through WITT programs—even more if we include women in ITA’s Indigenous Peoples Trades Training and general programs.

WITT provides women with pre-apprenticeship trades training services, such as exploratory programs offering hands-on skills development, essential skills training, employment counselling/coaching, job search assistance, and tuition supports for ITA designated trades Foundation programs. Eligible participants may also receive tools, work gear, textbooks, transportation, and daycare supports.

Women who enter and stay in the trades may have to overcome systemic barriers in male-dominated industries. It can be challenging for women to get their foot in the door and get the skills they need to advance their apprenticeships, but as more and more women see the trades as a rewarding career opportunity, and employers create a welcoming diverse workforce, women will face fewer barriers, and we’ll see the number of women in trades increase.

Over the past year, two new programs have launched to support women in trades and create healthy workplaces for all trades professionals:

  • BC Centre for Women in the Trades is building a network committed to creating a culture of equality and equal opportunity.
  • Builders Code aims to retain more women in the construction trades by creating a supportive, inclusive work environment.

If you’re a woman interested in a career in skilled trades, find out how ITA and our WITT programs can support you. Visit www.itabc.ca/apprentice-service/workforce-development-agreement or email womenintrades@itabc.ca for more information.

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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