Women Encouraged to Explore the Trades

Special Cohort Being Welcomed to Take a Glimpse


Julie-Claire Hamilton fully understands the challenges faced when delving into what has traditionally been known as a man’s world.

Though she has been plying her trade for more than a decade, it hasn’t always been easy on the jobsite frontlines for the journeyperson electrician.

Women in Trades

Selkirk College Electrical Foundation Program Instructor Julie-Claire Hamilton will be leading the Trades Discovery Program for Women which begins on October 26, 2015.

“As a woman in trades, I still encounter the old-school attitude where some men wonder what you are doing on the job,” says Hamilton. “You have to prove yourself even that much more, but the mentality is changing and that needs to happen with everyone. We are just as capable in the trades and in some cases women can excel at them.”

Now an Electrical Instructor at Selkirk College, Hamilton has been charged with leading a special cohort through an exploration of trades this fall. In partnership with the Greater Trail Community Skills Centre, Selkirk College is offering a special Trades Discovery Program for Women. The 14-week program with a two-week job shadow component provides women the opportunity to check out many different elements of the trades, get hands-on experience, and gain exposure to a variety of worksites and employers.

“The need for qualified tradespeople will continue to be a constant in our economy,” says Kate Pelletier, Dean of the Selkirk College School of Industry & Trades Training. “With such a demand for skilled workers, it doesn’t make sense that women—who make up half the population—are barely represented. They need to be encouraged to take a look at the trades as a potential career choice. The goal of this program is to introduce women to the trades who show interest, but perhaps lack the confidence to dive right in.”

The tuition for the Trades Discovery Program for Women is $800 and funding may be available for those who are eligible by contacting Jaime Malcolm at the Greater Trail Skills Centre at 250.368.6360. To find out more about the program call 250.354.3204.

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