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Can Canada Double its Supply of Skilled Tradespeople?

Here at Red Seal Recruiting, we’re always overjoyed when we make a placement. And recently it was particularly thrilling because we placed a female candidate.
It may be hard to believe even in 2017, but very few resumes from certified tradeswomen come across my desk.  As of 2015, only 7% of women in Canada hold trade certificates, as opposed to the 15% of men. And that statistic is up for debate, because in this case, “trades” includes not just mechanics or engineering, but also culinary services and health professionals.
Make no mistake, we need women in trades. Even though unemployment in BC is low, very soon a large amount of the workforce will be making their way into retirement. The BC Government expects nearly one million job openings by the year 2025, particularly in construction trades such as electricians, carpenters, and refrigeration mechanics.
Everyone should have the chance to explore a position that will use the most of their interests, strengths, and talents. And not just women, but youth and minorities as well. In some circles, “diversity” is considered a dirty word—but why? If we want to protect our savings, we’re told to diversify our investments. If we want to qualify for more roles, then we diversify our skills. As an employer, I think it can apply to a team or crew just as well.
If you’re a tradeswoman or working towards becoming one, we encourage you to submit a resume. If you’re just starting out, there are plenty of resources out there designed to help women break into the skilled trades. In BC the Women in Trades Training Program offers comprehensive information on how to begin an apprenticeship.
I’m happy to say that I am noticing more and more resumes from female apprentices, meaning that hopefully within the next five years, we’ll reach a point when hiring a tradeswoman will still be a celebration, but not such an unusual one.

Kael Campbell is President and Lead Recruiter of Red Seal Recruiting Solutions, a company providing recruitment services in mining, equipment and plant maintenance, utilities, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. When he is not recruiting, Kael spends as much time as possible with family in the great outdoors and on the water. He volunteers his time as a Board Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization of Victoria and a Member of Victoria Marine Search and Rescue. You are invited to subscribe to our employer newsletter or submit your resume.