SWiT Strong: The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum launches National Strategy for Supporting Women in Trades

Ottawa, Ontario — The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF-FCA) is releasing an industry-driven National Strategy for Supporting Women in Trades (SWiT), to help increase the participation and retention of women in the field.

“The SWiT National Strategy has brought together groups and organizations doing the work to recircuit and retain tradeswomen in the construction industry. And together, through identifying barriers and developing strategies for success, SWiT will help change the face of construction and increase diversity within our industry,” said Lindsay Amundsen, director of Workforce Development at Canada’s Building Trade Unions (CBT).

Amundsen is one of roughly 60 skilled trades stakeholders who came together in 2019 to lead a task force to create a strategy that will make a measurable change for women’s representation in Canada’s skilled trades. The strategy has four clear and measurable action items intended to generate awareness, trigger policy change, recognize best practices and create skilled trade workplace environments where women’s representation is recognized and increasing.

In 2018, women only represented 4.5 percent of apprentice registrations in construction, manufacturing and transportation, according to Statistics Canada. In the new SWiT strategy, the task force has made a national target to increase female participation in skilled trade careers to 15 percent by 2030.

Another priority of the national strategy was to identify ways to create respectful workplaces. “CAF is committed to being a catalyst for diverse and inclusive workplaces,” said France Davaiult, executive director of CAF. “Under-represented groups include women, transgender, two-spirited, intersex or gender non-binary have a fundamental right to the safe, healthy and equitable workplace—free of harassment, bullying and discrimination.”

Click here to view CAF-FCA’s national strategy.

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