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First Cohort of the National Leadership Development Program for Women in the Skilled Trades Underway

EIN CAF FCA 400

September 16, 2022

The inaugural cohort of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum’s (CAF-FCA) National Leadership Program for Women in Skilled Trades is underway after an enthusiastic application period. Eighteen apprentice tradeswomen will be the first participants in the program developed and administered in partnership with the Office to Advance Women Apprentices (OAWA). Due to the high level of interest, the partners will fund an additional cohort at no cost to tradeswomen which will start in February. CAF-FCA and OAWA will work with industry, trades unions, government, and training institutions to support future development and administration costs of the program.

Guided by subject matter experts, participants will learn effective strategies and gain practical tips to empower them as leaders in their skilled trades workplaces and the broader community. Modules included in the program are Principles of Leadership, Communicating with Confidence, Teamwork, Mentoring and Conflict Resolution, Supervisory and Management Skills and Mental Health and Well-Being. Participants will complete the program online through a learning management system allowing for self-paced learning and an interactive forum with facilitators and
tradeswomen coaches.

Background
Women are marginalized in skilled trades workplaces and experience barriers. Female apprentices report more difficulty finding employer sponsors and have lower apprenticeship completion rates than males (Prism, 2021). As a result, non-completing women cannot access the high paying, full-time work associated with certification in the trades. A positive work environment and support from peers are key to program retention but in the absence of these women apprentices report poorer mental health than male apprentices (CAF-FCA, 2020) contributing to a lack of confidence and sense of isolation. Many women apprentices and journeypersons have limited access to leadership training or development opportunities for self advocacy, public speaking, conflict resolution and mentoring.

For more information, contact: Emily Arrowsmith, Director of Research and Programs: emily@caf-fca.org.

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