CAF-FCA Launches National Mentor Development Program for Women in Skilled Trades

The National Mentor Development Program for Women in the Skilled Trades has been launched by the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF-FCA) to help enhance mentorship skills for women and gender-diverse individuals in the trades.

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The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF-FCA) has launched the National Mentor Development Program for Women in the Skilled Trades to offer online programming aimed to develop and enhance mentorship skills for women and gender-diverse individuals in the trades.

The four-month virtual program is facilitated by subject matter experts in collaboration with tradeswomen coaches from the manufacturing and construction sectors and will be offered free of charge to participants across Canada.

According to the CAF-FCA, tradeswomen identified the need for a program of this type. At its inaugural Supporting Women in Trades Conference in 2018 and its conferences in 2019 and 2022, CAF-FCA consulted with more than 300 tradeswomen to identify their needs.

Tradeswomen identified mentorship as one of their top priorities which was outlined in the Road Map to Supporting Women in the Trades. According to the CAF-FCA, they recommended to “establish and maintain mentoring programs for women in the trades where experienced tradeswomen mentor and guide those just starting out.”

Due to the retention barriers women experience in the trades, research also supports the creation of this program. According to the CAF-FCA, the rate of program completion is higher for male apprentices in most of the Red Seal trades, with Heavy Duty Equipment Technician reporting the largest gender gap (29 per cent) followed by Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) (27 per cent) and Plumber (26 per cent).

Additionally, according to the National Apprenticeship Survey, women are more likely to identify discrimination as the reason why they left an employer.

Through research and consultations with tradeswomen, CAF-FCA and its partners, the Office to Advance Women Apprentices and Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium, understand training best practices. As a result, they have created a program which has been shaped to meet apprentice needs, which increase the chances of successful program implementation.

For more information or to apply, click here.

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