Women In The Trades

Valentina Shickell-Busch

According to The Royal Bank of Canada website, “By 2028, projections suggest that
approximately 700,000 trade workers will retire.” This means more workers will be leaving the field than entering. Sadly, we are seeing the effects of this starting to impact our economy. This could be an opportunity for women to explore careers they might not have in the past.

Growing up in my household I’ve been taught different important life skills, but the one that sticks out most for me is building stuff with my dad. One of the first projects we did together was building houses for my pets. The first one was an indoor “Critter Castle” for my cat so he could have a safe space to eat without my dog bothering him. One of our next projects was a house for my dog Sammi. Then a coop, a run and corral for my chickens. I have always been interested in different trades and learning hands-on skills with my dad.

More recently I was able to learn some new skills in shop classes at Fort Frances High School. I was able to try my hand at woodworking, welding and machining. Learning to weld this year connects me with three other generations of welders and tradesmen in my family. On my Dad’s side of the family this goes back to my great grandfather. Welding is probably my favorite and I’ll definitely be taking it again this upcoming year. I learned so many new things in the classroom and at home with my dad and grandpa. I’m also interested in other possible careers such as in the medical field. I’m keeping my options open within my class choices. The two classes I’m most looking forward to next year are manufacturing and wood shop. Even if I don’t use these in my future career, they’ll still be handy skills to have in my back pocket.

I would 100% encourage other people to try these classes if it’s something that interests them. In one of my shop classes I was the only girl, so that was a new experience for me. But I never felt like I wasn’t good enough. Everyone was always so helpful and had great advice for me. It seems like there will be plenty of opportunities in the trades for everyone!