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National program to boost women mentorship in skilled trades

Four-month virtual program an initiative of Canadian Apprenticeship Forum

The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF) has launched an online program to help women and gender diverse people in the skilled trades boost their mentorship capabilities.

Over four months, participants in the National Mentor Development Program will receive guidance from subject matter experts and tradeswomen coaches from the manufacturing and construction sectors.

The program will be offered free of charge to eligible participants.

After consulting more than 300 tradeswomen, the CAF heard that mentorship is a top priority among them.

The idea is that if experienced tradeswomen could offer guidance to new women trades workers, it would help with retention of women and gender diverse people to industry.

“The rate of program completion is significantly higher for male apprentices in most of the Red Seal trades, with heavy duty equipment technician reporting the largest gender gap (29 per cent), followed by industrial mechanic (millwright) (27 per cent), and plumber (26 per cent),” the CAF said in a release.

“According to the National Apprenticeship Survey, women are more likely than men to identify discrimination as the reason why they left an employer.”

For more information on the National Mentor Development Program, contact the program manager, Stephanie Shrum, at