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Record number of women enrolling in trade programs at Yorkton's Parkland College

Yorkton, Sask. -

Yorkton’s Parkland College has a record-breaking number of women enrolled in its’ skilled trade courses, with nine female students in welding, power engineering, and agricultural equipment programs.

Among those female students is Chantel Lindstrom, a 38-year-old single mom who has made a career change, after burn out from working as a COVID-19 screener during the pandemic.

“While it’s rewarding in itself, it wasn’t exactly a right fit for me, and I knew that. I just had to pull that trigger and nail down what trade I wanted to go into,” Lindstrom said.

The welding student plans to make art with her new skills.

“I chose welding because I get to be creative,” she said. “I’m hoping to produce some art, and its good money on the side.”

The Parkland College said it works with the Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Saskatchewan Government and Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) to bring more women into the skilled trade sector.

“We certainly focus on creating a safe, inclusive learning environment for all of our students regardless of gender, age, background,” Alison Dubreuil, Interim President and CEO of Parkland College said.

Women make up 10 per cent of apprentices in Saskatchewan, and almost six per cent of female apprentices are in “non-traditional” careers, according to the SATCC.

“Currently the labour market is so tight, and really, women are part of a vast untapped workforce that can be better utilized in our province for greater success,” Chris Stubbs, Director of Innovation and Inclusion with SATCC said.

The female students at Parkland College account for 22 per cent of students in the skilled trade programs.

Women in trades is not a new concept, and Lindstrom is proud to follow in her family’s footsteps.

“My grandmother was actually a welder and a mechanic, fixing planes in the air force when all the men went off to war, so it’s not an unheard of thing, I’m just so happy women now are deciding to enter that field,” Lindstrom said.

The tradition continues for Lindstrom. She wants to be an example for her two children and show them they can pursue any career, regardless of their gender. Top Stories

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