Women in Trades Training

Two female Carpentry students cutting wood on chopsaw

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.

Info session

Find out how you could participate in the January intake of Gateway to the Building Trades for Women in Kelowna and be starting your career in as little as three months!

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 - Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Times may vary based on shop time, online study and self-study needs.

Next intakes

  • Kelowna: Jan. 4, 2021 and Apr. 2021, date TDB
  • Penticton: Mar. 29, 2021
  • Vernon: Sept. 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.