PEI

Women apprenticeship program expanding to P.E.I.

Women in trades on P.E.I. will soon have more help getting an apprenticeship because a non-profit out of Newfoundland is expanding.

$250K to support new P.E.I. program

The Office to Advance Women Apprentices will open in Charlottetown in mid-September. (Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock)

Women in trades on P.E.I. will soon have more help getting an apprenticeship because a non-profit out of Newfoundland is expanding.

The Office to Advance Women Apprentices is coming to Charlottetown this fall. The non-profit recently received over $1 million in federal funding from Employment and Social Development Canada and around $250,000 of that money will go to P.E.I.

The group will be reaching out to women who have either taken an apprenticeship program or are interested in doing so and work with them to find employment, said Karen Walsh with the Office to Advance Women Apprentices.

"Working with them, working with unions and contractors, to try to assist those women getting employment," Walsh said.

She said the organization has been successful in Newfoundland and hopes it has the same effect on women in trades across Prince Edward Island.

Newfoundland impact

Ten years ago when the organization began the amount of women in skilled trades made up about six per cent of the trade workforce in Newfoundland, Walsh said.

"Right now through the services at out office they are between 13 and 14 per cent, while the majority of Canada is lagging at around four per cent."

She said she is hoping some of the success in Newfoundland will spread to the Island.

There are several groups on P.E.I. dedicated to the same thing, advancing women in trades, Walsh said, and she would like to work with other groups.

"We will work in partnerships with any groups that are already on ground and started within Prince Edward Island and hopefully look at best practices from all organizations," Walsh said.

Walsh said the office is scheduled to open in Charlottetown in mid-September and will have two staff members.

"The coordinator is the person on ground meeting with all the contractors, the unions, the trades, colleges and trying to see what issues are out there, what possibilities are out there. And then our assistant is on ground working with the trades women prepping resumés," she said.

The contract for the office is 18 months, but she said she hopes that will be extended.

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With files from Island Morning

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