Career Exploration in the Skilled Trades!
Written by John Dietrich, Curriculum Consultant of Experiental Learning at the Halton Catholic District School Board.

On Thursday, November 21st, 135 young women from 9 HCDSB elementary schools attended a unique event at the Frank Hasenfratz Centre For Excellence In Manufacturing, in Guelph, Ontario.

The day included career exploration activities geared towards young women in Grades 7-8, and focused on the promotion of skilled trades and technologies as viable career choices. 

Students were given the opportunity to participate in experiential workshops and interact with mentors. The day included a variety of workshops that introduced the students to trades connected to plumbing, electrical, and carpentry through a series of creative activities. Each activity was led and supported by a mentor group of 3-4 women who have careers in the skilled trades.

This unique opportunity for these young women was driven by a number of factors. First, it is important that we continue to increase awareness around the viability of a career in the skilled trades. According to a recent report put together by Statistics Canada and the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, Canada needs to attract 167,739 new apprentices over the next five years just to keep pace with current demand. (1) It is also important to note that men still make up 93% of the skilled trade workforce. (2)

Many thanks to Skills Ontario​ for providing this opportunity, to Linamar for hosting and to all the young women, staff and volunteers who attended this highly rewarding event.


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