Women continue to be under-represented in the skilled trades and information technology sectors despite the growing demand for labour in these occupations. The Women in Skilled Trades and Information Technology (WIST/IT) program, funded by the Ontario Women’s Directorate, offers an opportunity for low-income women who are unemployed or under-employed to gain gender-sensitive in-class training and on-the-job training to prepare them for employment in these occupations.
The Skilled Trades stream provides pre-apprenticeship training geared towards increasing the number of women in skilled trades. Following graduation, women are qualified to enter a variety of high-demand skilled trades jobs and apprenticeships.
The Information Technology stream enables women to secure employment, further training and certification in the IT sector, or to enter IT apprenticeship programs. As a result of this initiative, women are prepared for well-paying employment in the information technology sector, and employers are able to recruit and retain more skilled workers.
The WIST/IT program is delivered through funding to training delivery agencies in communities where skill shortages have been identified or are projected by local employers and labour market information.