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Letters  

All needed in trades

Re: Women in trades at O.C. (Castanet, Nov. 28)

As a retired tradesperson, it’s wonderful to see more women continuing to enter the trades and I’m sure they will enjoy a wonderful and rewarding career.

I do however, have a couple of comments about this story.

First, it’s great to see that Prospera Credit Union is supporting people entering the trades, but I have to ask, why are they just supporting women? That’s called affirmative action, and as a former trades manager, I was a big supporter of the program, back when it was necessary in the 1970s and 1980s.

But it is no longer necessary, as women are now a fully functioning professional workforce in the trades. Many qualified young men—and particularly young married men with families—also face severe financial pressure getting and maintaining an apprenticeship.

Prospera needs to update its program to support people entering the trades—all people, and not just women.

Second, the picture (accompanying the story) shows several young women apparently gathering in what appears to be a welding lab at the college, an industrial workspace by definition. As such, in B.C. it is subject to the laws of WORKSAFE BC. Those laws require people within those workspaces to be properly attired, for their own safety, including foot ware.

The photo shows the women in summer attire and sandals in an industrial workspace. I assume that they were simply moved into the area for context in the photo but it suggests these women are less professional than they should be, given the situation, and I fear the public may support the program less due to the unprofessionalism of the photo.

B.C. needs more tradespeople. It’s a great career with good salaries and a great opportunity to build a future. Let’s support all people entering the trades and let’s get past the affirmative action mentality of the past century that suggests men and women are radically different.

Good luck to the women in the photo and to all apprentices.

Jamie Hill, Kelowna



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