Mediaplanet sat down with Denise Stirton to discuss the changing perception of the skilled trades.

MP: Have you seen the perception change over the years?

DS: Yes, I think that parents and guardians are starting to see that careers in skilled trades can be a viable pathway choice with a promising future for their children. At DDSB, we realize the reality of an aging population, and we strive to prepare our future generation for a changing workforce. Thus, programs such as OYAP ensure that young people are aware of the opportunities that exist in the skilled trades, and sets the platform for students to access these lucrative careers.

MP: Why is it important to encourage young girls to consider a career in the trades?

DS: Girls need to be able to connect with and see other women in these roles to expand their own idea of what’s possible. This past year we have hosted many events featuring successful women in trades. These events have helped female students to understand a marketable trade skill can offer them a lifetime of income, stability and professional fulfillment. These events were the start of many conversations that we hope to continue with students.