Sudbury·Audio

Cambrian College works to get more women in trades

Women tend to be few and far between in the trades, but in a new program at Cambrian College, women will make up the entire carpentry class.

New carpentry program starting at Sudbury college today

Louise Turcotte is the associate dean of schools of skills training at Cambrian College in Sudbury. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

Women tend to be few and far between in the trades, but in a new program at Cambrian College, women will make up the entire carpentry class.

The college is running an entry-level carpentry course for women.

The Associate Dean of the Schools of Skills Training said she has seen countless men walk through the doors of the trades building, but few women.

“Maybe some of them are intimidated, thinking that it’s an old boys club,” Louise Turcotte said.

“I have been at the college for ten years and the number of women in the trades is still minimal compared to what I would like to see it.”

She said the goal is to attract more women to the trades, and help fill skill shortages.

“It’s to develop that culture, that mindset that women can do this work and do it very, very well,” Tourcotte said.

Provincial assistance

The pre-apprenticeship program will be offered free of charge to women, thanks to a grant from the province.

“Up until recently, we’re trying to tackle that skilled trade shortage by encouraging men to go into skilled trades, ignoring half the population,” Brad Duguid, Ontario’s Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities said.

The women in the course will have to pay for the next levels of the carpentry program.

More than 40 women applied for the 16 spots available at Cambrian College.

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