Conestoga news

March 7, 2002 12:51 PM

Special Programs for Women Focus on Skilled Trades

Conestoga College, in partnership with the Ontario Women’s Directorate, will launch two programs on March 25, designed to prepare women to seek apprenticeships in areas where there is strong industrial need for skilled employees and where the opportunity for well-paying employment is significant.

The initiative is called Women In Skilled Trades (WIST) and at Conestoga involves two specific programs. One is at the Doon campus in Kitchener; the other at the campus in Guelph. The Doon program is Pre-Apprenticeship General Machinist/Tool and Die Maker. It is 50 weeks in length -- 30 weeks at Conestoga, followed by 20 weeks of paid, on-the-job training in local industry. In addition to theoretical, technical and applied skills in metalworking, participants also learn useful skills in safety procedures, career planning, computer applications and employment search techniques.

At Guelph is Pre-Apprenticeship Millwright, also 50 weeks (30 weeks in college, 20 on the job). Millwrights are highly valued for their ability to design, develop, install and service the types of sophisticated machines essential to modern manufacturing. Also included in the program are career planning and employment search skills.

Skilled trades and apprenticeships are receiving increasing attention from the federal and provincial governments. The ability of manufacturing industry to grow, prosper and compete on the international scene depends on a highly skilled workforce. Skilled tradespeople are highly valued, they have considerable responsibility in day-to-day production operations and they work to exacting standards.

Application for these WIST programs is open to women age 16 or older, who are Ontario residents and able to work in the province, and who hold an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent at the General or Advanced level, with appropriate credits in mathematics.

CONTACT: Tanja Gancevich-Malaches, 519-748-5220, ext. 3446 / 519-824-9390, ext. 182