Brighter Futures for

Women in Trades

The Office to Advance Women Apprentices is Committed to Finding Opportunities for Tradeswomen

National News

Office to Advance Women Apprentices expands to Cape Breton

Cape Breton is experiencing a boom in the construction industry – and with it, comes the need to grow and diversify the skilled trades workforce. To support this growth, the Office to Advance Women Apprentices has opened an office in the region that will offer wraparound support services to engage, support and grow the number of tradeswomen and apprentices. 

As a project of Canada’s Building Trades Unions, the Office to Advance Women Apprentices Cape Breton is the seventh office of its kind to open in Canada. Based on the successful OAWA model established in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2009, the office will work to identify and eliminate barriers to increase opportunities for women in the skilled trades. 

Maggie Budden, a Red Seal Ironworker with Local 752, has taken on the role of Project Coordinator and will lead the office, working closely with local unions, contractor and employer partners, and current and potential tradeswomen. 

Read Maggie’s journey through the trades and her understanding as to why a support office is needed for women in trades.

Featured in photo: Maggie Budden, Project Coordinator for Office to Advance Women Apprentices, Cape Breton and Jack Wall, President of Cape Breton Building Trades Union

what we do

The Office to Advance Women Apprentices

Canada has 1.2 million construction workers, but women only currently represent approximately 4% of the construction trades.

The Office to Advance Women Apprentices Newfoundland and Labrador was established in 2009 with funding from the provincial government, with a mandate of increasing employment opportunities for women in the skilled trades.

The office provides ongoing support to tradeswomen seeking work or already employed in the skilled trades. This includes providing career services, employment supports, and networking opportunities for tradeswomen. The Office to Advance Women Apprentices has partnerships with employers, trades unions, government, and training institutions to assist in accomplishing these goals.

The organization has expanded and now has six provincial offices across the country in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan

Taylor and Mitch Shaking Hands

who we are

Our Stories

Discover the stories of the tradeswomen and employers supported by the Office to Advance Women Apprentices.



Amanda Rees has blazed a trail in so many ways and we’re so proud she’s been awarded this year’s Trailblazer Award winner. Read her story and discover how she’s shaping the world of trades for women in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Read Her Story



Meet one of the most progressive companies for women working in the trades. @ H&H Enterprises has a reputation across the country for exceptional work experience for women apprentices. Find out how they’re blazing a trail!

Learn More



Discover the perfect partnership between us and Skills Canada Newfoundland and Labrador and how we’re working together to reach the next generation of trades women.

Learn More

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