Aug 15, 2016
Posted in: Success Story
By Audrey Arcand
According to Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC), there were 9,953 registered apprentices in Saskatchewan in 2014-2015. Of this, 907 (or 9.1%) were women. This was a decrease from 2011-2012 when there was a total of 9,724 registered apprentices in the province, 9.8% (or 950) of whom were women. During the same period, there were 454 registered women apprentices in Predominantly Male Occupations (such as electrician and plumber) in 2014-2015, and 355 in 2011-2012 representing 4.5% and 3.6% of registered apprentices respectively. That is, there is work to be done to enhance women participation in Saskatchewan’s apprenticeship programs.
Over the past five years, GDI Training and Employment apprenticeship programs, namely GDI Aboriginal Apprenticeship Initiative (2011-2014), and GDI Aboriginal Apprenticeship Project (2014-2017), have created a total of 502 new apprenticeship jobs for Saskatchewan’s Aboriginal clients. This has been done through partnerships with employers across the province. While, as indicated above, the apprenticeship programs in Saskatchewan are generally male-dominated, serious attempts are being made at GDI Training and Employment to promote women participation. One such woman is Danni Meyers.
Danni Meyers is a Year I Electrician Apprentice in the GDI Aboriginal Apprenticeship Project and is currently working at Concept Electric in Saskatoon. Danni, who first heard about the GDI Training and Employment from a family member, discussed her experience with us.
Danni stated that she has always wanted to be an electrician, and that she decided to contact GDI Training and Employment after hearing that “it had a great program for those who are Métis and looking to get into the trades.” However, the final decision to follow her dream was “significantly easier to make after speaking with (her Employment Counsellor) Audrey Arcand. Audrey assured [her] that it was the right decision.” In expressing her appreciation to Audrey, Danni asserted that “Audrey was well organized and promptly returned all my calls and emails.”
Danni stated that her primary responsibility as an apprentice electrician is learning how to manipulate power as well as constructing various ways of distributing that power. That is also what she likes about her job. As she puts it, “My favourite aspect of my job is that we always have to be aware and on our toes. Not only is our own safety being put at risk, but others safety is also in your hands. I also enjoy it because it is a very active and hands-on job.”
She credits what she learned in school for preparing her for Electrician Apprenticeship program. “At school, we had the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning that included wiring and safety awareness.”
When asked about the secret for her success. Danni said, “The secret to my success is all the help that was made available to me through the GDI program …. Persistence was also an attribute as I talked to people in my everyday life that might give me an open door to my next job. I was also very determined to be a woman in trades.” Thank you Danni. We wish you the best.