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RBC Women in Trades Blog
Posted by Meghan on: November 9, 2017
When attending a Women in Trades Forum there there is almost nothing quite like seeing the interest on a woman’s face as an instructor describes a program that interests them. Seeing their eyes light up as they hear about the classroom training they can receive, the hands on experience they will get, and the job opportunities which awaits them is a great thing. In fact, it’s only second to seeing the looks on their faces when they hear they can get paid to do all of those things and more!
Information about on the job training, funds towards tuition and job opportunities available are only a few of the things women took away from the Fall Women in Trades RBC Forum held last month at TRU. With coffees in hand women of all ages came to learn more about TRU Trades and Technology programs with friends and family in tow, and it wasn’t without merit. As instructor after instructor stood up and spoke about their program at length (and why their respective program was the best of course), women listened intently only adding commentary through thoughtful questions at the end of each presentation.
After each instructor presented their program, there was a panel of knowledgeable external speakers. Starting with Amber Cachelin, a TRU Trades and Technology graduate, Amber completed her Red Seal in Construction Electrical in 2015 and the sky has been the limit for her career ever since. Cachelin traveled for work and not too long ago came back to Kamloops to work, before starting her own company, Greensleeves Electrical in Fall 2017. Cachelin is quick to say she appreciated the networking between women while she was in school and she made life-long friendships with some of the women in the trades programs. She has a message to future students that if you have the drive to be in trades, the rest will fall into place.
Helen Poss and Garry Hansen spoke on behalf of ITABC and Step BC about the different funding options available to students while they were in school, and trust me there are plenty. Apprentices end up receiving financial incentives when they go back to school each year, while traditional academic programs do not. As well, Step BC has a close tie to students going to school in the Trades and Technology building. Step BC offers everything from resume writing upgrades, to letting people know about potential interview questions they may be asked in an interview for their particular trade and connecting students directly to jobs!
Connie Georget from Teck Resource, Highland Valley Copper Partnership, spoke about the importance of safety in the field and shared upcoming trades job postings due to a large retiring work force.
By the end of the presentations, women were gathering to ask questions, meet with individual instructors to talk further about programs and grab business cards and program applications, all signs of a successful gathering. A quick tour of the building concluded the night, and the women were sent off into the night with trades training information and potentially, a new career path.