The Manitoba government is investing $285,000 toward an agreement with Manitoba Aerospace to provide skills training to 15 women in gas turbine repair.

Families Minister Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for the status of women, made the announcement on Tuesday.

“Increasing employment and leadership opportunities for women greatly benefits industries such as the aerospace community,” says Squires in a news release. “Our government is committed to providing opportunities for professional development that improves economic status for women and advances gender equity across the province.”

The program includes regular classroom instruction, work integrated learning on site at StandardAero and a job coach to support the women throughout the program and their transition into the workplace. StandardAero will offer permanent, full-time employment to all successful trainees. Training started this month and will wrap up in July.

Successful trainees hired at StandardAero will be given career opportunities to progress as journeypersons and upgrade their skills to become gas turbine repair and overhaul technicians through Apprenticeship Manitoba.

“The Aerospace industry in Manitoba is strong and it has increased demand for new, skilled staff,” says Barb Bowen, director of projects, Manitoba Aerospace. “Women in this program will benefit from the mentorship, work-integrated learning, and mental health and wellness supports included in this project. Our approach to this program will support their success as they begin their career with StandardAero.”  

Women make up less than 20 per cent of skilled workers in the aerospace and aviation sectors in Manitoba. Due to the immediate need for employees at StandardAero, Manitoba Aerospace and the province have an opportunity to increase the number of women employed in the aerospace sector through industry-led, accelerated training.

Manitoba’s aerospace industry is committed to equity and diversity within its skilled workforce. This program will build on equity and diversity principles by targeting women and women with disabilities to participate and obtain employment in the aerospace industry, the minister added.