November 5, 2015
By Shelley Steeves
MONCTON – With a shortage of some trade workers in New Brunswick, Moncton’s Amy Pidt decided to go back to school at 38 years old to become a machinist.
“I am really excited because there is definitely a shortage of women in the trades. So, I have already talked to a few employers in this field and it’s looking great,” she said.
Originally from Calgary, Pidt says she’s love nothing more than to stay in New Brunswick to work.
“I have been here for six years and I have no intention of leaving.”
Seventeen-year-old Morgan Anderson wants to stay in her home province. She’s says more young women in New Brunswick should consider taking a trade.
“I think they should try it to see what’s out there. There is not just office jobs. There’s not jobs now just for women there’s a little bit of both you can do whatever you want,” she said.
“You are seeing more women start to get into the trades, they are more than capable,” says Anderson’s instructor, Scott Steeves.
He says the number of New Brunswick women enrolling in carpentry is slowly growing.
“Usually we have one or two. This year we have had three which is probably the most we’ve had in one class,” he said.
Luc Morin from Skills Canada says recruiting more women to traditionally male dominated trades may be part of the solution to an ongoing shortage of trades workers across the province.
“What is happening now is we need these people to be in the skilled trades because whether it be your house, you car or what you eat, everything is related to the trades and we have nobody to replace those workers, so how are we going to get them?” Morin said.
According to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, trade gender stereotypes has been tough to shake. About three per cent of women in Canada enter machine work or carpentry.
Fortunately in New Brunswick, that appears to be changing, according to Keith Eagles who has been teaching machine work at NBCC Moncton for 16 years.
“The last few years the numbers have been really increasing. Last year we had one women here and this year we have two,” he said.
Pidt says she already has leads on several jobs right here in New Brunswick and she believes hiring a woman in a male dominated trades is an advantage for employers.
“We try to match up so we work even harder and we have good attention to detail, so we are pretty awesome,” she said.