Changes to program promoting women in skilled trades deemed a success

Government says changes made to a program that encourages girls to pursue careers in trades and technology is being credited for almost tripling the number of girls participating compared to previous years.

According to a press release, 600 students attended Trades and Technology Career Exploration for Girls events in Fredericton, Edmundston and Saint John during the 2018-19 school year.

Service New Brunswick Minister Sherry Wilson, who is also the minister responsible for women's equality, sats, "Events like these provide an important opportunity to encourage young women to explore opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields."

The events gave students the opportunity to learn more by hearing directly from women from their community working in the skilled trades and technology sector.

In the past, 4-6 evening events were held across the province with only 15-40 students in attendance at each event.

The province says the new format, developed in partnerships with school districts, had the events take place during school hours with bus transportation available, with 120 students attending in Fredericton, 375 in Edmundston and 165 in Saint John.

According to the press release, mentors from organizations including NAV Canada, the military, RCMP, NBCC, Le Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick, Université de Moncton - Campus Edmundston, NB Tap, Apprenticeship NB, Canadian Border Service, IBM, CANB Moncton Northeast, Chaleur Sawmill, Aerospace and Defence Association, and Group Savoie took part in the events this year.

The events were organized be a committee made up of representatives from the Women's Equality Branch, Armour Transport, Irving Oil, J.D. Irving Ltd., Skills Canada New Brunswick, New Boots, and NB Power.