Have you ever considered going into the trades?
There are many resources and programs for women that can help introduce you to the types of jobs you could do, the training you can get, where to find mentorship, and more.
We've compiled some places to check out below.
We encourage you to explore your options! Before starting any apprenticeship, job, or program, it will help you in the long-run to narrow your focus. What trades are you most interested in doing? What does that work look like? What are the working conditions? Are there any people/organizations who are doing work that you admire?
- Explore the government of Ontario’s trades page to check out their resources and explore across the four sectors of trades.
- The Ontario College of Trades has an overview of trades in Ontario and various resources for work in the trades.
- careersintrades.ca has a Where to Start page which offers some tips and strategies on choosing your trade.
Make sure to check out your local associations, colleges or universities, and unions in your area for other programs geared to women.
Training and Mentorship Opportunities
- In Waterloo, there is the Women In Skilled Trades (WIST) General Carpenter Pre-Apprenticeship - a 34-week program to help prepare you for general carpentry trade
- The Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI) / First Nations Power Authority (FNPA) Skills Development Program: Awarded a grant by the government, this partnership aims to help recruit, train and place Indigenous women and women into skilled trades positions to support nuclear life-extension projects.
- Ontario Works Training Programs in Toronto - offers help preparing for employment, self-employment or career advancement. Participants receive $250/month for training-related expenses and may also qualify for other supports.
- Skills Ontario’s Young Women’s Initiatives - a collection of hands-on events and programs that provide skill development and mentorship opportunities to young women in grades 7 to 12.
- The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program - a high school program that allows you to try a huge variety of apprenticeship-based careers in skilled trades, starting in Grade 11 or Grade 12 through the Cooperative Education program.
- Skills for Change's Women’s Programs & Services - For over 35 years, Skills for Change has proudly served thousands of newcomers and immigrant women with support services such as settlement and employment, skills training, bridging programs, mentoring, language training, and entrepreneurship programs.
- Women Transitioning To Trades and Employment Program at George Brown - a training and employment preparation program in Toronto with a 12-week Trades and Career Planning (TCP) course.
There are national organizations that operate across Canada which you could also consider joining, such as:
- Build Together – a national Canadian Building Trades Union program that promotes, supports and mentors women in the skilled construction trades.
- Canadian Construction Women and the Canadian Association of Women in Construction – both these organizations offer mentorship opportunities to advise, guide and assist women on industry challenges they may face.
Bursaries and grants
Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) - a taxable cash grant worth $1,000 per level up to a maximum of $2,000 for the first two years of your training in a Red Seal program
The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women (AIG-W) - helps you pay for expenses while you train as an apprentice in a Designated Red Seal Trade.
Want some inspiration?
Read about Keeley Prockiw, a single mom in Edmonton, who is doing an amazing job as a Red Seal welder and rope access supervisor.
The Ontario government is investing in Northern Ontario trades training - over $1 million dollars is being invested in two projects that will provide free training in construction to 645 people in Northern Ontario, prioritizing those individuals who come from remote First Nations and Indigenous communities.
Other useful links