The College of the Rockies’ Electrician Foundation Program is breaking new ground as the program now has nearly as many female students as male.

According to Jack Moes, Dean of Trades and Technology at College of the Rockies, the 24-week program is made up of 16 students, seven of whom are female.

“It has always been our goal to increase the diversity of our trades classroom and to demonstrate that there are many, great-paying careers available in the trades to both women and men,” said Moes. “To have reached an almost fifty-fifty ratio in our Electrician program is exciting and we look forward to seeing the numbers continue to rise in our other trades programs.”

The College of the Rockies said there is high demand across B.C. for skilled tradespeople, that forging a career through the trades could be a lucrative option for women as wages are typically higher in the trades than more traditional fields of work.

“I would encourage other women to consider taking a trade at the College,” said Kaitlyn Hamilton, one of the current students in the Electrician Foundation Program. “It’s been a great experience so far and it opens so many doors and can take you so many different places. It’s extremely worth it.”

The College of the Rockies said bursaries and grants are also available to trades students. The new Apprenticeship Incentive Grant could provide anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 for women in the trades seeking to complete their Red Seal certification in underrepresented fields.

Foundation and apprenticeship programs are offered through a number of programs at the College of the Rockies such as training to be an electrician, automotive service technician, carpenter, heavy-duty equipment technician, industrial mechanic, plumber, welder, hairstylist, and professional cook.