what we do

Office to Advance Women Apprentices NS

The Office to Advance Women Apprentices Nova Scotia was created to engage and support tradeswomen working in construction trades in the province.

The office has a mandate to offer support and increase employment opportunities for tradeswomen and women entering apprenticeable trades in Nova Scotia. We offer a registry database of female tradespersons identifying trade, level of apprenticeship, employment status, resumes, travel availability, etc.

With the support of Employment and Social Development Canada and Canada’s Building Trades Unions, we’re committed to identify barriers, track and measure success, and offer ongoing support to skilled construction tradeswomen in Nova Scotia to increase their chances for success.

The Office to Advance Women Apprentices Nova Scotia creates ongoing support services for women seeking or already employed in the skilled construction trades. 

Our work includes:

  • Connecting tradeswomen to employers
  • Career services, employment supports, and networking opportunities for tradeswomen,
  • Engaging and building partnerships with key stakeholders including employers, trades unions, and training providers to improve participation and success of women in the trades, and
  • Development and maintenance of a registry database to track services provided and apprenticeship numbers of tradeswomen

The Office to Advance Women Apprentices project was started in Newfoundland and Labrador where, today, women account for approximately 13 percent of the skilled construction trades workforce, compared to a four per cent rate nationally.  Building on the success of the Newfoundland and Labrador office, the model is now being replicated in five other provinces, including Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan where at least 750 women, including Indigenous women, are expected to be served through the offices.

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Join Our Network

If you’re a tradeswoman in Nova Scotia looking for employment in your trade, or a tradeswoman looking for support, register to become part of the Office to Advance Women Apprentices Nova Scotia network. 

We're committed to increasing the number of tradeswomen working in their field through directly connecting workers and employers in Nova Scotia.

By registering, we will include you in our database of apprentices who have completed trades training programs, matching you with employers looking for skilled tradespeople.

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Exploring the Trades

If you’re interested in exploring a career in a skilled trade our office can assist you. Please complete the short registration below to get in touch with us.


We Connect Apprentices & Employers

Employers can contact The Office to Advance Women Apprentices NS to get access to the resumes of apprentices from our vast database of qualified workers across the province. When you’re hiring, let us know and we’ll forward resumes from highly-skilled women workers directly to you to speed up and simplify your hiring process. 

*Note: Employer's names are kept confidential unless otherwise specified by the employer. 

who we are

Our Stories

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

Featured Tradeswoman

Tradeswoman carpenter and scaffolder Melanie Driscoll is leaving the Office to Advance Women Apprentices to lead her Halifax-based company So Busy Construction Crew.

Read Her Story


Mitch Taylor of Sunbuilt is building capacity in his community, his business, and building skills in a female direct entry carpenter apprentice.

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- Featured Partner - 

Kelli is a Nova Scotia Trailblazer for women in construction. The Office to Advance Women Apprentices is delighted to have Kelli be part of the office’s founding advisory committee.

Learn More
Kelli Gordon-Skinner

Funders & Supporters

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Mainland Nova Scotia Office

1000 Sackville Drive

Lower Sackville, NS B4E 0C2

Daphne Goodine - OAWA NS

Daphne Goodine

Project Coordinator

(902) 800-3240 | Ext 2702

Emily mclaren

Project Assistant

(902) 800-3240 | Ext 2701

OAWA Nova Scotia Logo

Cape Breton Office

45 Prince Street

Sydney, NS B1P 1C6

Maggie Budden OAWA

Maggie Budden

Project Coordinator