Women in Trades

A career in trades offers high salaries, job security and a rewarding career, which are just some of the reasons why women are choosing trades.

More women are exploring trades, which is helping B.C. build a strong economy. The Government of B.C. website says that “about 10.5 per cent of all apprentices in British Columbia are women, up from 8.5 per cent in 2009.”

Some of the many ways that TRU supports women in trades is offering programs that provide an opportunity for women to sample a wide variety of trades.

Women in trades training exploratory program

The non-credit, government-funded program helps you to discover the best trade for you prior to enrolling into a trades foundation or apprenticeship program.

This thirteen-week program introduces students to trades, which may include a combination of any of the following:

  • Carpentry
  • Piping
  • Electrical
  • Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic
  • Mechanics
  • Welding
  • Millwrighting
  • Work readiness skills

Every TRU instructor has a Red Seal certification with extensive industry experience. Many of the instructors, mentors and project coordinators are female-identifying furthering the visibility of women in trades. Students take field trips to local trades employers, including mines, mills, construction sites and mechanical shops. This fosters connections with future employers. Along with teaching, TRU staff provide support in identifying the trade that compliments your skills and interests.

Learn more

Study at the Williams Lake campus

Our small, welcoming Williams Lake campus is located approximately three hours northwest of Kamloops.

The campus offers a variety of trades programs from carpentry and electrical to heavy mechanical and welding.


Equal opportunities

We are committed to fostering inclusivity and equal opportunities and our exploratory program does just that.

Not only has the TRU School of Trades hosted this program at the Kamloops campus, but they have extended their reach to 100 Mile House, Barriere and Merritt and provided exploratory programs for women in trades in these communities. These programs were very successful and many of the graduates choose to further their trades training at either Williams Lake or Kamloops.

Shaping the trades industries

Since the program's start in 2009, TRU has supported and empowered a cohort of over three hundred women. Our alumni have not only completed the program but are thriving as successful business owners, accomplished forepeople, project managers and instructors.

This program helped me so much in the short period of time. It not only helped me choose which trade I wanted to do but made me more confident in my everyday life. The skills this program offers will help women of all ages learn and grow. The wide variety of trades I received made finding a job a breeze.Rebecca Carr, Millwright Foundation student

The Women in Trades program transcends the conventional classroom experience; it is a vibrant community where enduring friendships have flourished. I found great satisfaction in operating the scissor lift during our mobile elevated work platform; it challenged me to stay calm and it was satisfying to learn all that goes into it. I plan to enroll in the electrical foundations program next year.Nicole Wiebe, Women in Trades Exploratory Program alum

I've had the privilege of serving as the Women in Trades Exploratory Program Coordinator since 2020, and over these three years, I've been witness to the incredible positive transformations in the lives of numerous women. The diversity of our students' backgrounds is truly remarkable — from single mothers to those trying to break free from unfulfilling minimum-wage jobs or desk-bound routines.Amber Cachelin, trades alum, staff member and RSE electrician