-Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, BC GOV
International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the success of women in non-traditional and in-demand industries such as trades and technology.
If we want a strong and vibrant economic future, then it is key that strong and vibrant women help drive it. A great opportunity for women to help drive the economy is through careers in the skilled trades or technology sector.
B.C. has more than one million women working, nearly half of the current provincial labour force. With the addition of nearly one million job openings expected in the province by 2024, women will play an increasingly important role in keeping B.C.’s economy diverse, strong and growing.
Though not traditionally thought of as a career path for women, the skilled trades offer the possibility of rich, rewarding careers. In fact growing numbers of women are taking up the challenge of the trades and the benefits they bring – job satisfaction and great pay. To help women get these skills, government is working closely with organizations like the Industry Training Authority to support programs like Women in Trades Training (WITT).
There are currently over 3,900 female apprentices in 72 different trades throughout B.C. and the number is growing. Doors are opening throughout B.C. for women who want to pursue careers as plumbers, electricians, sheet-metal workers, carpenters or heavy equipment operators. For example, since 2008, there has been a 98% increase in the number of female welder apprentices.
Many programs are also in place to support women in technology. Examples include: Ladies Learning Code, Vancouver Women in Technology, Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology, App Camp for Girls, and Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science and Technology.
In 2014, B.C. launched the Skills for Jobs Blueprint to re-engineer our education and training programs so that British Columbians can get the skills they need to be first in line for these job openings. The blueprint supports the #BCTECH Strategy and the BC Jobs Plan to encourage economic growth and to ensure that B.C. has the skilled workers necessary for the in-demand jobs of the future, including in the skilled trades and technology sectors.
- Since 2008-09, the Industry Training Authority’s Women in Trades Training (WITT) program has served more than 3,000 women.
- There are approximately 3,964 registered women apprentices in the province across 72 different trades.
- The percentage of women who are registered apprentices in BC is at 10.4%, up from 8.5% in 2009.
- The technology sector directly employs more than 86,000 people, and wages for those jobs are 60% higher than B.C.’s industrial average.
- B.C.’s technology sector is growing faster than the overall economy. In 2013, it grew at a rate of 4.7%, a higher rate than the 3.2% growth observed in the provincial economy.
- In 2013, the technology sector added $13.9 billion to B.C.’s GDP.
- B.C.’s 9,000 technology companies combined generated $23.3 billion in revenue in 2013.
- New technology companies are emerging at increasing rates throughout the province. In 2013, there was an addition of more than 700 new technology companies in B.C., an increase of 8% over the prior year.
- B.C. 2024 Labour Market Outlook
- B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint
- Industry Training Authority WITT program
- WorkBC resources for women
- British Columbia Innovation Council
- Original news release