Volume 93, Issue 68

Tuesday, February 1, 2000


UWO mourns students

Money talks at King's forum

Psych prof accused of racism

SCAPA proposes revamping of bachelor-level degrees

Toronto TAs to settle with admin

Prez candidates face off with media

Funding gets the checkered flag

New anti-panhandling legislation comes into effect

Theft remains a big problem for UPD


Experience not going to get in Connell's way


Funding gets the checkered flag

By Lindsay Satterthwaite
Gazette Staff

Women interested in the automotive industry were revving their engines last week, after the Ontario government announced the go ahead for a new fund.

Helen Johns, Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, announced the Ontario government's intention to allocate $3.81 million over a three year period to the Women in Skilled Trades Initiative program, said Rui Brum, communications assistant to the minister.

The pre-apprenticeship program is the first of its kind in Canada and is focused solely on women, Brum said. "Twenty women are currently enrolled at the Centre for Skills Development and Training, located in Burlington, for the first 30 week in-class session, [they] then move to 20 weeks [working] at automotive manufacturers in the local area," he said. Four more pilot facilities are to open around southwestern and central Ontario, the locations of which are to be announced in July, Brum added.

"The initiative is to match the needs we have seen in the workforce specifically for women," Brum said. The government is working with the manufacturing industry, training institutions and local employers to provide women with the training necessary to compete in the trade industry, he added.

The pilot program for tool and dye makers and general machinists was developed to provide skills and training programs which give women hands on experience, Brum said.

"There will be a shortage of 10,000 to 14,000 skilled workers in the automotive and manufacturing industry over the next 10 years, with a 25 per cent increase in growth rate," Brum added, explaining the program's initiation.

Julie McLeod, marketing officer for the Canadian Automotive Institute, said Georgian College is currently the only school in Canada which offers a program in tool and dye making and automotive mechanics. "Three years ago, the program was only eight per cent women, this year it is 25 per cent," she said. "I think this pilot program is a great opportunity for women. It helps women get into a predominantly male industry."

Douglas Leighton, associate professor and chair of history at Huron College, said the trend of women breaking into the industry has already begun. "People are often surprised by how many women work on the assembly line," he said.

"The good thing is the government is encouraging women to take these jobs," Leighton added.

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