Skills Ontario and partners connect young women with skilled trade and technology mentors

Oct 26 2016

mentorAs the underrepresentation of women in skilled trade and technology professions continues, Skills Ontario seeks to strengthen the number of young women entering these fields in Ontario. Skills Ontario organizes Career Exploration Events to connect female students in grades 9 through 12 with mentors -- women who are already working or training in a skilled trade or technology career.

These events provide learning opportunities through hands-on workshops and demonstrations, team-building and networking activities and Q&A panels with the mentors, who share their own stories, experiences and encouragement with the student participants. Skills Ontario Career Exploration Events engage industry and college partners, small business, school boards, and students to connect education, experience, and employment.

Skills Ontario maintains a volunteer list of approximately 200 mentors located across Ontario, who donate their time and expertise to Career Exploration Events in their region. Regional sponsors also support the events by providing materials for workshops, demos, and helping with the cost of meals. So far this year, events are confirmed in:

  • Welland, sponsored by Niagara College
  • Timmins, sponsored by Neonet
  • Thunder Bay, sponsored by TBT Engineering
  • Port Elgin, sponsored by Women in Nuclear (Bruce), Unifor, and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program of the Bluewater and Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Boards
  • Guelph, sponsored by Linamar
  • London, sponsored by  the London Catholic and Thames Valley District School Boards and Fanshawe College
  • Alliston, sponsored by Simcoe Muskoka Catholic and Simcoe County District School Boards

This program is also made possible through the support of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development of the Government of Ontario.  


“Today, women are still underrepresented in the skilled trades and technologies but these are excellent careers for women to support themselves,” says Gail Smyth, Executive Director of Skills Ontario. “Young women need to know that the trades and technologies offer many opportunities that can lead to bright, stable and successful futures.”

Quick Facts

  • 10,000+ female students have attended a Skills Ontario Career Exploration Event since 2007
  • 93% of female students say they are more likely to investigate a career in the skilled trades and technologies after attending a Skills Ontario Career Exploration Event
  • More event dates will be confirmed for Winter 2017

Associated Links

VIDEO: Young Women’s Conferences at the Skills Ontario Competition

Skills Ontario Young Women’s Initiatives

Skills Ontario Online Media Kit

About Skills Ontario

Skills Ontario is building Ontario’s skilled trades and technologies workforce.  We enable and empower all youth, including women and Aboriginal youth, to consider a career in the skilled trades and technologies. Engagement with students, teachers, parents, volunteers, employers and mentors ensure our programs connect education, experience, and employment. We deliver in-school presentations across Ontario, host Canada’s largest skills competition, run summer camps for skills development and connect students to employers. We are focused on growth sectors such as construction and infrastructure, technology innovation, and hospitality services.

--- 30 ---

Media contact

Anne Ramsay, Manager of Communications, Skills Ontario

519-749-9899 x 230 | 

« Read More News