Government of Canada funds innovative project to help more women succeed in the skilled trades

News release

750 apprentices from Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan to benefit from this support

February 21, 2019                 Winnipeg, Manitoba                   Employment and Social Development Canada

Giving every Canadian a fair chance at success means helping them get the skills and training they need to succeed in a changing economy. The skilled trades are good, well-paying, middle-class jobs, and the Government of Canada supports key groups, including women, Indigenous people, newcomers and persons with disabilities, to work in the trades by funding projects led by unions and other organizations.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced that the Government of Canada will provide $3,141,000 to Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU) for its project titled An Innovative Model to Enhance Entry, Advancement, and Employment Outcomes of Women Apprentices.

This project will support the CBTU’s Women in Trades Program, which breaks down barriers for women in the construction trades. Over a period of 42 months, up to 750 women apprentices, including approximately 100 Indigenous women in Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, will receive career services, employment assistance and networking opportunities to complete their training and obtain their Red Seal certification so they can work anywhere in Canada.

The Government invests $25 million annually in the Union Training and Innovation Program to support union‑based apprenticeship training, innovation and enhanced partnerships in the Red Seal trades across Canada. This investment means more apprentices will be able to develop their skills, complete their training and find good, well‑paying jobs.

As Canada’s economy continues to grow and create good, well-paying jobs, the Government is committed to ensuring that all Canadians benefit.


“Building a diverse and inclusive workforce is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do for Canada’s future. A strong middle class depends on a job market where all people, regardless of gender, have a real and fair chance at success. Our partnership with the CBTU means that more women will get good-quality jobs in the trades.”

– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“Canada’s Building Trades Unions are very proud to be working with the federal government to launch a program that will increase the number of women that successfully complete their apprenticeship to take on a challenging and rewarding career as a professional skilled trades worker. The CBTU, through our workforce development program, Build Together, has been working on the recruitment and retention of women, and other under‑represented groups, and the program will expand this important work.”

– Robert Blakely, Canadian Operating Officer, Canada’s Building Trades Unions

Quick facts

  • The project is funded under Stream 2 (Innovation in Apprenticeship Training) of the Union Training and Innovation Program.

  • The CBTU will partner with the Office to Advance Women Apprentices and the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation to assist in finding employment opportunities for women apprentices so they can become journeypersons.

  • Project partners and stakeholders, including employers, unions and training providers, will work to improve the participation of women and will benefit from diversity, discrimination and harassment training.

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Associated links


Véronique Simard
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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