CWB Welding Foundation's Women of Steel Intro to Welding program runs next week

Welding student and instructor

WHITEHORSE—The CWB Welding Foundation’s Women of Steel: Forging New Opportunities-Introduction to Welding Program (IWP) is taking place at Yukon College next week from September 9 to 13.

This free, 30-hour pre-employment technical skills development program, developed by the Canadian Welding Bureau, is being delivered across Canada this year in collaboration with six post-secondary institutions. The program is generously funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness Program.

“Our program aims to encourage women to explore careers in welding, building awareness and clarify perceptions for improved understanding of potential opportunities and the rewards of this career path. IWP will provide introductory, real-work experiences that reveal various pathways to employment where the welding trade is experiencing skills shortages. By assisting participants to make informed career choices and helping them develop the skills needed to find rewarding jobs in the trade across Canada, IWP is the first step towards entering a career in the welding industry,” said Susan Crowley, executive director, CWB Welding Foundation.

The new program was created using the CWB Group’s proprietary “Acorn” learning curriculum. For this inaugural year the IWP is offered in six cities, inclusive of women across all target demographics. The program has been strategically designed to foster both personal and career development for participants while also supporting the Canadian industry that is currently facing shortages of highly skilled employees across welding and associated trades.

Women comprise only 4.5 per cent of the skilled trades labour pool. The welding industry dedicates the required efforts to recruit more female skilled trades workers and eradicate misconceptions about the trades being a male-dominated environment.

“Students will learn basic welding skills and finish the week with a structural test which, if successful, creates the possibility for them to go on to an entry -level position with an employer or entering the pre-employment welding program this January,” said Jeff Wolosewich, department head, School of Trades, Technology and Mining at Yukon College.

Wolosewich added that Yukon Women in Trades and Technology (YWITT) has been a vital partner in promotion and outreach for the program.

Ten students are already registered to undertake the first territorial offering of this new program. Due to high demand, Yukon College is opening two more seats in the program. Last month, the IWP successfully ran at the Alberta Pipe Trades College in Edmonton, Fanshawe and Algonquin Colleges in Ontario, Saskatchewan Polytechnic University in Regina and New Brunswick Community College in Moncton. So far, the programs have been over-subscribed and waitlisted.

Women interested in taking the program should contact Jeff Wolosewich at 867.332.2347 or before 5:00 p.m. Friday September 6.

The Women of Steel: Forging New Opportunities project consists of two components — the IWP and the social media campaign #WomenOfSteel. Both components aim to engage and unite women in both traditional and non-traditional welding careers across Canada and to highlight and inform experienced and new female welders’ career journeys into welding. Currently more than 40 women across Canada are actively involved in the WOS social component.

The CWB Welding Foundation would like to thank the Government of Canada for their generous support as they have been instrumental in the launch of this program.

CWB Welding Foundation is offering a total of 31 experiential learning opportunities across Canada in 2019, including six WOS: Forging New Opportunities-IWP, 19 Mind Over Metal Welding Camps, and six LNG Canada Arx and Sparx Welding Camps. These opportunities rely on the financial support of industry and community organizations to continue offering hands-on learning and exposure to the welding skilled trade to youth, women, Indigenous, and underrepresented groups.

About the CWB Welding Foundation

CWB Welding Foundation (CWBWF) is a national not-for-profit charitable organization, working to support and sustain the need for skilled welding professionals in the workforce and contribute to Canada’s economic prosperity. 

CWBWF’s mission is to forge partnerships between industry, education and government that enable Canadians to build great careers in the welding industry, through encouraging awareness, training, the promotion of best practices through a quality educational experience, impartial advocacy and greater accessibility for all those interesting in exploring future opportunities in skilled trades and a welding related career.

CWBWF develops and provides educational programs, capital, equipment, consumables and protective equipment that create and upgrade quality learning environments in school technology programs. They provide educator training, awards, and support applied research in post-secondary welding and technology education.

For more information, please contact:

Jeff Wolosewich

Department Head

School of Trades, Technology and Mining
Applied Science and Management

Michael Vernon

Communications Coordinator

Governance and External