OC Women in Trades and Willowstone Academy student at the maker event
Making mentors: OC Women in Trades and Willowstone Academy students learn and build together

March 6, 2020

Sometimes a finished carpentry project turns out to be far more than the sum of its parts, when the tools, techniques and materials combine to create something unforgettable and transformative. The same goes for educational experiences, as demonstrated by a recent event that brought together students from Willowstone Academy and Okanagan College’s Women in Trades Training (WITT) program, with support from the Industry Training Authority (ITA). On Thursday, March 5 a class of WITT students arrived in the early hours of the morning to prep fo...


Women in Trades Training

Okanagan College is among B.C.’s largest trades training institutions and has a reputation for excellence. The Industry Training Authority acknowledges the need for more female apprentices in the Province of BC.  Through funding provided by the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement, Okanagan College is able to provide sponsorship for trades training to eligible and selected women who are interested in a career in the trades.

Women in Trades Training opportunities

Gateway to the Building Trades for Women

This all-female, 12-week exploratory program introduces women to a variety of trades, safety training, job readiness skills and professional development through a combination of in-class and in-shop experiences. By actively participating in exploring many different trades, women gain the confidence to pursue their career goals in trades. Trades that participants will experience include: Carpentry, Automotive, Sheet Metal, Plumbing, Electrical and more. Program times: Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Friday 8 to 11:45 a.m. 

Next intakes

  • Salmon Arm: Sept. 14, 2020
  • Kelowna: Sept. 21, 2020
  • Penticton: winter 2021, date TBD
  • Kelowna: winter 2021, date TBD

Trades Training Foundation

In as little as five months, foundation training prepares students to enter the labour market with credit for Level 1 technical training in their chosen trade. Students entering trades foundation training must have accepted a seat offer in the program of their choice and have paid their seat deposit prior to starting an application for sponsorship with Women in Trades Training. To learn more about applying for sponsorship, contact Women in Trades Training at witt@okanagan.bc.ca.

Youth Programs

In the spring and summer, girls ages 9-12 have an opportunity to explore trades. Youth programs are one-week in length and focus on fostering a passion for trades while developing new skills. Note: due to COVID-19, Camp OC was suspended for 2020 - but stay tuned for its return in 2021!

Check out Camp OC offerings

Getting Started

Admission requirements

All participants must meet the following requirements to be eligible:

  • legally entitled to work in Canada
  • living in BC
  • not enrolled in high school or in post-secondary training
  • not actively participating in another provincially or federally funded labour market program
  • unemployed or employed and working equal to, or less than 20 hours per week
  • complete Women In Trades Training application process 


Gateway program applications start with a completed Participant Eligibility Worksheet. This document can be emailed directly to witt@okanagan.bc.ca or delivered in person to the Women in Trades Training office located in the Trades and Apprenticeship Office T115, Kelowna campus.

Have questions?

The Women in Trades Training Department is here to help. Call 1-877-755-2266, ext. 4825 toll-free or submit your questions below.

Funding for the Women in Trades Training programs is provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement.


Come for a campus tour or become a student for a day. 


Have your questions answered by a Trades and Apprenticeship staff member.


Applying to the Women in Trades Training program involves completing a participant worksheet.

Penticton Welding Centre
College powers up new welding building in Penticton

August 20, 2018

Welders training in the South Okanagan now have a state-of-the-art new shop in which to spark their torches and test their metal. Okanagan College officials, students, industry partners and community members gathered at the Penticton campus today to mark the opening of the College’s new $2.2-million, 465-square-metre (5,000 square ft.), welding facility. Among them was a class of 16 Welder Foundation students, who, under the tutelage of instructor Mark Stathers, will be the first to train in the facility. The shop they’ll soon step into is ...

Dignitaries and students cut the ribbon to open the Vernon Trades Training Centre
College opens new Trades Training Centre in Vernon

August 7, 2018

A class of Plumbing and Piping Foundation trades students were the first to step through the doors of the newly completed Trades Training Centre at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus at 7 a.m. this morning. A few hours later, they helped to officially open the space where they will hone their trade.  Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna - Lake Country and The Hon. Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training joined Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton and other College officials, donors, industry and communit...