NAIT hosts nearly 100 high school students for a day of skilled trades exploration

NAIT welcomed nearly 100 female high school students to Main Campus on Thursday, Nov. 24 for a day of exploring the potential of careers in the skilled trades.

Jill of All Trades is an annual event that began in 2014 at Conestoga College in Ontario. Conestoga recently received support from national sponsors Owens Corning and Home Depot to bring it to a variety of post-secondary institutes across Canada and NAIT is pleased to be part of the first group.

Young women in grades 10 to 12 from Edmonton and Northern Alberta attended NAIT’s inaugural event. Attendees participated in up to 3 hands-on workshops to experience trades of interest. The workshops also connected the high school students with mentors—many of whom are female—who helped the students develop a better understanding of the benefits of a career in the skilled trades. Mentors included NAIT staff, alumni and members of industry.

The day kicked off with several guest speakers before the students broke out into the workshops offered by NAIT’s School of Skilled Trades. Workshops included Plumber, Electrician, Welder, Millwork (Cabinetmaking) and Carpentry, Heavy Equipment Technician, Auto Body Technician, Machinist/Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Technician, Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning Refrigeration (HVACR) Technician, Ironworker, Carpenter, Insulator and Glazier.

A recent report by RBC indicates more than 700,000 skilled trade workers are set to retire, creating a shortfall of at least 10,000 workers. The report goes on to say that women continue to represent less than four percent of workers in the most in-demand trades. Jill of All Trades aims to help decrease the skilled trades shortfall by encouraging more women to pursue careers in the trades.

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