The Eight Year Trade Journey

Since 2014, YWCA Saskatoon has been running a program  called Trade Journey in which they assist women into economic sustainability through careers in the construction trades industry. It is no secret that careers in the trades pay better than service industry – a route many women often take.

The Trade Journey Program runs twice a year for 16 weeks and allows for 15 participants. The selection process is nothing to shake a stick at. After an interested person registers, applications are screened, persons are interviewed and screened again. Then, selected candidates are required to complete a labour market research essay on their trade of choice and the final 15 are selected to enter the program.

Although the specific trades explored during the cohort vary, as they depend on the involvement and availability of industry, past cohorts explored carpentry, welding, millwright and pipe trades.

The manager of training programs, Natasha Martynes says: “Through experiential learning in our shop and other training facilities, participants are able to recognize their strengths and determine which path to pursue in their apprenticeship journey. With a built-in fitness program, safety, skills and success training, as well as a 3-week work placement, participants are provided with the necessary tools as they embark on their new careers.”

She Knows Her Stuff

Natasha is no stranger to the trades herself. She comes from a background in plumbing and gas fitting and holds Red Seal and Blue Seal certifications. She also knows personally what it’s like to run her own business. “The experiences and listening to the stories of the women at the YWCA had me rethink the direction I wanted to take with my career and personally. Being of service and a part of strengthening our community began to spark something within. Fast forward to today…and that spark is now a bonfire.”

Success of the Program

Over 200 women have graduated from this program and statistically speaking, 60-70% find gainful employment in industry. In fact, the past two cohorts saw 100% of participants securing full time employment in their selected trades!

Trade Journey provides the training…you provide the motivation!!! 

Applications for the next cohort are open. There is no cost to the participant as the program is funded by the Government of Saskatchewan.

Apply today by visiting the YWCA website.

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