CTV News: Fanshawe mentorship program for women in trades

See the full CTV News: London article.

Fanshawe College is launching a mentorship program that aims to support women in their pursuit of a career in the skilled trades.

The school’s Corporate Training Solutions (CTS) is leading the development of the “ConnectHER’ mentorship project that will recruit and support 1,000 women, women-identifying and non-binary people from across the country to pursue a career in carpentry, welding, plumbing and heavy equipment operator.

“As a leading provider of skilled trades and apprenticeship training in the Ontario college system, Fanshawe is well-positioned to bring key players to the table to address the well-known gender gap in the skilled trades,” says Candace Miller, Fanshawe’s executive director of Business Development and Strategic Support. “We’re excited to develop a mentorship project designed by females to unlock the potential of women in the trades.”

According to Statistics Canada, in 2022 only seven per cent of skilled trades’ workers in Canada identified as women.

The female-led mentorship project is funded by the Canadian government’s Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy and carried out in partnership with Polytechnics Canada, to engage 1,000 prospective or existing tradeswomen in a supportive one-on-one learning relationship with a mentor who can share their knowledge and experience.

ConnectHER will involve five phases that will be implemented until May 2026. The phases will be informed by both employers and unions. These groups will meet this fall to discuss challenges, look for ways to overcome barriers and explore new ideas to help create a welcoming space on the work site.

The project will be delivered as of June 2024.