Welder worker welding metal.  © Can Stock Photo / AlekssWelder worker welding metal. © Can Stock Photo / Alekss

Wanted: More women in welding

Fanshawe College is offering 20 women the opportunity to start a career in welding.

Women of Steel: Forging Forward is an 18-week course developed by the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) Foundation. Fanshawe College is one of 14 institutions across the country - and the only one in Ontario - that was selected for this fully-funded program.

"Providing women with opportunities to pursue traditionally male-dominated careers like welding and other skilled trades is critically important on both an individual and regional level," said Heather Carey, manager of Fanshawe's Corporate Training Solutions. "The Women of Steel program offers a supportive environment and mentoring opportunities to give our participants the best opportunity to develop the skills, confidence and resilience as they pursue a rewarding new career."

Women of Steel will run from May 29 to September 25 out of Fanshawe College's St. Thomas/Elgin Regional Campus. The course involves 350 hours of in-class and lab training, 70 hours of online work, and a 4-week work placement. Fanshawe says women can earn up to six CWB welding qualifications throughout the process.

The welding program is flexible, according to the college, allowing women to balance any other responsibilities they may have.

Participants will be provided with personal protective equipment such as safety boots, a welding jacket, a helmet, and gloves. Some may also qualify for funding to help offset expenses such as travel, childcare, and technology.

Women of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities are encouraged to apply.

"All those who identify as a woman, including those from racialized or marginalized groups such as Indigenous, Black, newcomers, LGBTQ2S, women with disabilities, or with a prolonged detachment from the labour force are encouraged to apply," said a statement from Fanshawe College.

To learn more about the Women of Steel: Forging Forward program at Fanshawe College, visit fanshawec.ca/wos.

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