About the Supporting Women in Trades Conference

With less than 5% participation, women are underrepresented in the skilled trades.  In November 2018, the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF-FCA) hosted the inaugural SWiT Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The event attracted more than 350 apprentices, tradeswomen, representatives from equity organizations, labour groups, employers, educators, and jurisdictional apprenticeship authorities from across Canada.  Delegates learned about programs that address the barriers women in apprenticeship and skilled trades careers face and other initiatives that support the attraction, preparation, and retention of women in the skilled trades.

SWiT 2023 will offer a safe place for tradeswomen and their allies to support each other, share experiences, and brainstorm solution. This year’s theme, Building Community, will emphasize the importance of reducing feelings of isolation and improving the sense of belonging for women in the trades.  Delegates with shared attitudes, values and goals will come together in one supportive group to address challenges, collaborate to solve problems, enhance workplace experiences, celebrate successes and ultimately, help tradeswomen advance in their careers.


CAF-FCA is a non-profit organization that connects Canada’s apprenticeship community. Participants work collaboratively to support vibrant and innovative apprenticeship systems and policies with a view to developing a highly skilled, inclusive, and mobile skilled trades workforce. Employers, unions, equity-seeking groups, educational institutions, and the jurisdictions support CAF-FCA operations through membership.

CAF-FCA is the only organization that brings together apprenticeship stakeholders from across trades, across sectors and across Canada to share information and promising practices, identify challenges and propose joint solutions. As a national voice for the apprenticeship community, CAF-FCA influences apprenticeship strategies through research, discussion, and collaboration. Its research and events provide stakeholders with accurate, unbiased insights into apprenticeship challenges and barriers and illustrates the substantial benefits of hiring and training apprentices.