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Canadian Building Trades Unions Partner with B.C. Government to Enhance Mentorship for Women and Apprentices

Journal: Issue 2 - 2016
BAC Local 1 Saskatchewan member Jenna Lipinski.

While there are more and more women pursuing trades careers in Canada, the percentage of male journeyworkers is still significantly higher than females. To help women get in the trades and broaden services for women working in the trades, the British Columbia government is investing $400,000 through a partnership with the Canadian Building Trades Union, Build TogetHER – Women in the Building Trades, SkillPlan, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to create a women-in-trades mentorship program.

BAC Canadian Director Craig Strudwick welcomes the partnership and says BAC Locals in Canada are fully supporting this movement. "With the addition of nearly one million job openings expected in British Columbia by 2024, women apprentices will play an increasingly important role in keeping the province and the nation's economy diverse and growing," says Strudwick. "Together with our Local training programs throughout the nation, we will do our best to make sure our apprenticeship program continues to attract women and minority groups."

A national representative of Build TogetHER – Women in the Building Trades, BAC Local 1 Saskatchewan third-year apprentice Jenna Lipinski encourages women to consider careers in the trades. "Many things drew me to bricklaying. I wanted a job that allowed me to be active, work outdoors and do something unique and creative. Bricklaying provided me all of that along with good hours and financial stability," says Sister Lipinski. "I have nothing but positive things to say about my experience in the trades. I think other women should get involved too. Take a shot and give it a chance. For women in the trades, be confident in your abilities to do your job. Create a positive relationship with your union and take advantage of all the resources and support that are available to you."

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