YORKTON – Parkland College has a record number of women currently enrolled in their skilled trade and technology sector programs at their Trades and Technology Centre. The nine women who are enrolled in Welding, Agricultural Equipment Technician and Power Engineering programs make up 22 per cent of their skilled trade and technology students.
“Typically, we see only a handful of women spread across our skilled trade and technology programs so we were elated to see such an increase this year,” explained Malena Vroom, Post Secondary Education, Chair, adding, “promoting our trades programs to women has been an on-going strategic goal at the college for several years because women are an underrepresented group in the skilled trades.”
As of June 30, 2022, 10 per cent of Saskatchewan apprentices self-identified as female and almost six per cent of Saskatchewan apprentices were females registered in trades where women are underrepresented, according to the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC). Encouraging women to pursue apprenticeships and careers in the skilled trades is also a priority for the SATCC.
“I knew I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to be active and earn a decent living. Although I had no prior knowledge or experience with welding, I had the opportunity in high school to be part of a Tiny House project that exposed me to trades and apprenticeship opportunities,” said Welding student, Vienna Severight.
“It really makes you push yourself and learn as much as you can from your instructors and fellow classmates,” said Severight when asked what it’s like to be one of the few women in the class.
Parkland College hopes to see a continued increase in women entering their trades programs in the years to come. Applications are now open for programs starting in fall of 2023 and interested students are encouraged to apply before programs reach capacity.