Opening the Door to Aboriginal Women in Alberta's Trades Sector

Aboriginal women in rural Alberta face many barriers to employment, but thanks to support from Chevron Canada, the path to economic prosperity is becoming more attainable.

In the fall of 2015, Chevron Canada partnered with Women Building Futures (WBF) to support its aboriginal engagement strategy.

Program participants
Chevron Canada is supporting workshops that help prepare Aboriginal women in Alberta for a future career in the trades.

Since 1998, Women Building Futures has been leading the way in trades training for women, aiming to support economic prosperity for women through assessment, training, job placement and job retention support.

The organization has mapped out what it takes to support women through the trades’ employment process, right from readiness assessments through to on-the-job training, breaking down barriers one by one.

Readiness Workshops

Through investments like Chevron’s, WBF is able to take readiness assessment workshops directly to aboriginal communities across Alberta, making the five-day course accessible for women considering a future in the trades.

A readiness workshop is an intense experience for its participants. In the space of one week, they gain a deeper insight into the industry as a whole, including what the expectations will be on their work and lifestyle, physical demands, workplace culture, and, most importantly, safety. These workshops also ensure that applicants who will continue with WBF courses have the appropriate math skills to be successful in their work.

“Capacity building is critical wherever we operate,” says Victoria Smith, CBU social investment advisor. “We recognize that barriers to employment exist, so when we had the opportunity to partner with Women Building Futures on their aboriginal engagement strategy, it was a perfect fit for our strategic social investment plan.”

Funding has already supported a readiness workshop in Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, one of the key communities within the vicinity of the Kaybob Duvernay Appraisal Program. Ten women successfully completed the program, many completing applications to continue on in their journey in the trades.