Series: Case Studies on Adult Learning
Authors: Valerie Overend
This document provides an overview of the Women’s Work Training Program (WWTP), established in Regina, Saskatchewan, to provide low-income women with the skills necessary to find well-paid jobs and, at the same time, bring more women into the province’s building trades.
Two-thirds of the clients who enrolled in WWTP were of Aboriginal origin, a proportion that continued to grow as the program progressed.
The instructors realized early on that training in carpentry would need to be accompanied by life-skills training, to give participants opportunities to deal with personal problems such as substance abuse, poverty, abusive relationships, and dependency on social services. The program also gave the women a chance to upgrade secondary school subjects such as mathematics, science and English.
The author notes that while the program wasn’t completely successful in alleviating poverty, it demonstrated that poor women could defy substantial odds to become apprentice carpenters.