New Brunswick women trades

New Brunswick extends program supporting women in trades

Friday, July 17, 2020

A New Brunswick program aimed at supporting and mentoring women in apprenticeable trades has been extended by three years.

The program, entitled “New Boots: Progressing Women in Trades,” has been running since April 2018 following a 30-month pilot project and has since expanded from a cohort of 14 tradeswomen to more than 250.

“The New Boots program has continued to be proven successful and not only am I pleased to see it continue, our government is taking steps to ensure that it will,” said New Brunswick Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder in a statement. “It has succeeded in getting more women to register for apprenticeship and has been an important resource hub for women in construction-related skilled trades.”

The program’s priorities over the next three years include aligning with:

  • department objectives related to training and labour,
  • poverty reduction and women’s equality initiatives under the New Brunswick Family Plan Framework,
  • the Social Development Strategic Plan, and
  • the government’s economic growth and development targets.

One participating company, J.D. Irving Ltd., had nine women invest in developing skilled trades last year through an in-house program, according to Linda Speedy, vice-president of human resources. “As we continue to grow our business and invest in the region, we look forward to continuing partnerships with government and community agencies that focus on increasing the representation of women and other underrepresented groups in our workplace,” Speedy added.

The New Boots program has benefited hundreds of female trades workers around New Brunswick. Program goals over the next three years include:

  • connecting 36 women annually to a skilled trade job,
  • increasing the program’s social media presence by 25 per cent,
  • creating new opportunities for participants by fostering relationships among trades groups and employers, and
  • finding more tradeswomen who can serve as counsellors to others entering male-dominated trades.

New Boots is sponsored by the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour; led by a nonprofit organization, Mentor Apprentice Program Strategic Workforce Services; and has also been supported by the New Brunswick Building Trades Unions.

For more information on New Boots, visit the program’s official website.

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