About 1,500 people are expected to participate in a two-day provincial skilled trades conference for women and youth underway at the Glacier in Mount Pearl.
The event is aimed at increasing awareness and exploring possibilities in the skilled trades.
“Tradeswomen are a vital link to address the skilled trades shortage that our province will be facing over the next few years,” said Karen Walsh, executive director for the Office to Advance Women Apprentices.
“Opportunities are available, employers are engaged in hiring women, and our office is working to increase awareness and opportunities for females in this province.”
Premier Kathy Dunderdale told the group this morning that with major project developments in the province — such as Hebron and Muskrat Falls — driving development, it is a time of unprecedented opportunity for women and youth
“Today’s historic conference will help us to explore strategies that will ensure women and young people play a larger role in our growing economy, while this government invests to make certain they have the training, skills and experience necessary to maximize employment opportunities, especially in the skilled trades,” Dunderdale said.
Budget 2013 allocated $466 million to enhance skills and training at the post-secondary level. The money helps the College of the North Atlantic and Memorial University to continue the freeze on tuition for the 2013-14 academic year. It also includes $5.2 million for specific initiatives to support apprenticeship and trades.
“Through funding more opportunities for women and other under-represented groups in the skilled trades, we can meet the growing demand for labour in our province,” said Joan Shea, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills.
“The provincial government will continue to work with apprentices, post-secondary institutions and employers to ensure more individuals progress through their training to become seasoned journeypersons working in Newfoundland and Labrador.”