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Apprenticeship programs target women, newcomers in B.C. construction

April 19, 2024

Modernizing B.C.’s skilled trades training and apprenticeship programs may be able to help broaden and diversify the construction industry’s talent pool.

Doing so is critical for the industry, which is being squeezed by a labour shortage that is expected to intensify.

While programs exist to connect new workers with employers, there remain barriers to the fuller participation of women and underrepresented groups, according to those who spoke to BIV.

“Employers have to be looking at women, Indigenous Peoples and new Canadians; and even by welcoming those [groups into] the skilled trades workforce, it still not may be enough,” said Tamara Pongracz, head of British Columbia Institute of Technology’s (BCIT) trades access department, and a Red Seal plumber.