Participants in Conestoga’s Skills Ontario all-girls summer camp were joined by CBC Kitchener-Waterloo reporter Carmen Ponciano during a welding workshop at the Cambridge campus on July 20.
Conestoga helps young women in grades seven through 12 explore careers in the trades through events like the Skills Ontario Summer Camp, Jill of all Trades and TNT Day.
The camp was designed to introduce young women in grades seven through nine to the skilled trades by delivering hands-on activities and workshops in the industrial, construction, motive power, services and technology sectors.
The camp was one of three that Conestoga hosted in partnership with Skills Ontario; throughout July, two other co-ed camps were held at the Guelph and Waterloo campuses.
“The Skills Ontario Camps aim to inspire the next generation of skilled trade and technology professionals,” said Karen Throupe, Skills Ontario Summer Camp manager. “Through fun, hands-on activities this program provides an opportunity for young people to explore a range of viable career options, to become aware of the apprenticeship pathway and the relevant courses they can take in high school, and to recognize how vital employability skills are to their future success.”
Ponciano’s report is available on the CBC website
To give young women in high school the opportunity to learn and work in a college shop setting, Conestoga also hosts Jill of all Trades and TNT (Trades and Technology) Day. These annual events promote better-informed academic pathway and career decisions by delivering hands-on activities related to careers in the trades.
Faculty and students in Conestoga’s Women in Skilled Trades (WIST) General Carpenter Pre-Apprenticeship program provide mentorship at each event, and keynote presentations are provided by female leaders in the industry. Past presenters have included Mandy Rennehan of Freshco, and HGTV personalities Sherry Holmes and Danielle Bryk
The WIST program is offered to qualified students free of charge thanks to provincial funding from the Ministry of the Status of Women. The 34-week program provides students with 26 weeks of in-class practical theory and hands-on experience, which is designed to help them secure and succeed in a paid eight-week work placement. Completion of the program equips students with the skills and knowledge to pursue opportunities and careers in the skilled trades.
For more information, visit the Women in Trades website