Local employers in Moncton, N.B. have shown great interest and confidence in the graduates of the Wood Manufacturing Council’s (WMC) recently completed ‘Women in Non-Traditional Trades’ program. Nine of the 10 participants, who have completed their training, have full time employment with firms in the area and are ready to begin working in the wood-manufacturing sector.
The skills delivery, which took place over 18 weeks, used the WMC’s Wood Employee Readiness Curriculum (WERC), which provides a basic introduction to the wood manufacturing industry and includes essential skills training, a basic wood manufacturing (shop) and safety component and a job placement component. The provincial Workplace Essential Skills team delivered the training and the woodworking training was delivered by and housed at the New Brunswick Community College. Job placements were made available by kitchen and countertop manufacturers, construction and window and door producers etc.
WERC is a pre-employment skills development program designed to attract individuals from a variety of backgrounds—including Aboriginal, Metis and Inuit Canadians, youth facing barriers to employment, persons with disabilities, women, new Canadians and immigrants working in Canada. It has been designed to introduce individuals to basic requirements and gain an understanding of entry-level occupations and employers’ expectations in the wood-manufacturing sector. WERC opens new doors for people who might not otherwise have considered a career in advanced wood manufacturing. The goal is to improve recruitment, training and career development of equity and target groups while meeting the training and labour resource needs of industry. During the development of the program, manufacturers were represented by HR managers from cabinet and millwork firms, who provided specific industry needs and input.