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New funding will help break gender barriers in the skilled trades

New funding will help break gender barriers in the skilled trades

YWCA Hamilton will help women and persons will disabilities and mental health barriers enter the skilled trades, thanks to an investment in programming specifically geared to help close the gender gap in the construction industry.

Denise Christopherson, CEO of YWCA Hamilton, announced a $407,875 investment that will provide a year-long Construction Craft Worker Pre-Apprentice program. The program will be run by YWCA Hamilton in partnership with LiUNA Local 837.

This program is offered to individuals of all genders, ages 18+ who identify with a disability and/or mental health barrier to help them begin their careers as Construction Craft Workers. This involves job readiness training and job placements which focus on preparing and cleaning construction sites; setting up and removing access equipment; working on concrete, masonry, steel, wood and pre-cast erecting projects; handling materials and equipment; performing demolition, excavation and compaction activities; and ensuring site security. The role may also involve operating off-road vehicles, drilling and blasting, scaling, sandblasting, high pressure washing, diving, tunneling and performing emergency rescues.

“More than 90 per cent of jobs in the skilled trades are held by men – even though women represent half of the workers across the country,” said Denise Christopherson. “This new program will encourage all genders to participate in the skilled trades, as it is just as important that women and non-binary people have access to these well-paying and high-demand jobs as it is for the industry to benefit from their unique perspectives, skills, and experiences.”

The funding is offered through the provincial Skills Development Fund, which provides funding to organizations for innovative projects that address challenges to hiring, training or retaining workers, including apprentices, during the Covid-19 pandemic. This program supports innovative, market-driven solutions that can help people and businesses make it through the pandemic successfully.

YWCA Hamilton is now accepting applications for this program for a new cohort to begin on June

 For more information about this program, including application information, please visit YWCA Hamilton’s website.

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