Government of Canada helps women in Edmonton prepare for high demand and well-paying jobs in the construction trades

News release

Thursday, May, 23              Edmonton, Alberta             Employment and Social Development Canada

Canada’s changing economy and investments in infrastructure make skills training critical to our future. The Government recognizes the importance of building a diverse workforce and supporting women so they can launch careers in high-demand construction trades.

Today, The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Edmonton – Mill Woods alongside Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, announced on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, funding of $2,487,055 to Women Building Futures Society for its Expanded Delivery of WBF’s Journeywoman Start Blended Learning Program that will support 900 women apprentices. This project is funded through the new Women in Construction Fund, which supports projects building on existing models that have proven to be effective in attracting women to the construction trades. These include mentoring, coaching and tailored supports that help women to progress through their training and find jobs.

The project will expand the organization’s successful learning program to women in rural and remote communities around Alberta in order to prepare women to succeed in trades training and careers, and to address barriers to progression and completion of apprenticeships.

Approximately 2,000 women are expected to benefit from the Women in Construction Fund which is receiving funding of $10 million over three years, starting in 2018-2019.

Employers, provinces and territories, learning institutions, unions, community organizations and individuals all have key roles to play in Canada’s continued success in building a skilled, mobile and certified workforce that supports Canada’s labour market.


“The skilled trades represent high-quality, well-paid middle class jobs that are critical to Canada’s economic growth. By funding this project, we are building a more diverse construction workforce, providing women with the necessary support to launch well-paying careers in in-demand construction trades.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“We want to see more Canadians consider the skilled trades as a first career choice and we need to support that choice. Our government is investing in this important program to make jobs in the trades more accessible to women throughout Alberta.”
– The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, and Member of Parliament for Edmonton – Mill Woods

“Women Building Futures is honoured to have received this funding to support the expansion of our training. For over 20 years, we’ve delivered exceptional training in Edmonton and we look forward to expanding our training to women in other communities in Alberta”
– Kathy Kimpton, President & CEO of Women Building Futures

“Our Government’s support for this project with Women Building Futures Society will help women in Edmonton become ready for good jobs in trades, build better lives for themselves and make their communities stronger.”
– Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre

Quick facts

  • Young women continue to be less likely than young men to express interest in a trade career. According to an OECD survey, only 2 percent of 15-year-old female students were planning to pursue a career in the skilled trades, and were more likely to be discouraged by their parents from pursuing a trade career than male students.

  • Women’s representation in Red Seal trades where women are under-represented was at 5 percent in 2017.

  • Women are concentrated in the three lowest paying trades: bakers, cooks and hairstylists.

  • 14% of employment in Red Seal trades are women, however they only earn around 9% of total hourly wages.

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