TRU to host forum for women in trades

By Vanessa Ybarra
October 11, 2017 - 3:24pm Updated: October 11, 2017 - 6:22pm

KAMLOOPS — Women thinking about pursuing a career in trades are invited to a trades forum at Thompson Rivers University tonight (Oct.11) from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Trades Building.

The event gives women and girls a chance to speak to industry professionals from throughout the Kamloops region on the opportunities for women in trades. Participants also get a chance to learn about TRU's more than two dozen trades programs including carpentry and welding.

"We will have some speakers, past women who have participated in trades, as well as some employers coming in and speaking about the opportunities. We're seeing of course the retirement rates, increased building and population (rates), so there's more demand for women to get into trades than ever before," says industry and contract training manager Heather Hamilton.

She adds the mining and construction sectors are seeing a particularly high need for more women workers. Amie Schellenberg, an electrical instructor at TRU, used to work in the oil and gas sector in Alberta. The electrical instructor is one of half a dozen staff members who will be speaking to participants on the numerous job opportunities a career in trades brings.

"If you go through your apprenticeship and you get your red seal that opens up a huge door for possibilities or avenues you can take after that. You don't have to be tied down to a job where you're working for an employer and getting your journeyman. Of course there's nothing wrong with that, but you can also start our own company, become an instructor, get a Bachelor of Technology or Trades and Technology Leadership."

TRU's electrical and welding program currently has the highest female participation rate in the province. 

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