NewsNov 6, 2019

YOUR PLACE training and employment program for women surpasses 1,000 applicants

Goal to double percentage of women working in construction trades on LNG Canada project

VANCOUVER, B.C.— Response has far exceeded expectations to LNG Canada and its prime contractor, JGC Fluor’s YOUR PLACE workforce development program for women aimed at attracting, recruiting, training, supporting and employing women to work in the construction trades on the LNG Canada project. More than 1,000 women have already applied to take part in the program following its launch four months ago.

YOUR PLACE includes a 4-week workplace readiness training program and employment supports designed to help women start – and succeed – in the skilled trades. Graduates have a direct line to employment in an entry level position as an apprentice with JGC Fluor or one of its subcontractors on the LNG Canada project site in Kitimat, B.C.

The first scheduled training session of YOUR PLACE takes place between November 12 and December 6 at Kitimat Valley Institute (KVI). Holding all training sessions at KVI provides BC women first-hand experience with the realities of a fly-in/fly-out worksite.

Of the 12 participants in the first class of women, three are self-identified as Indigenous.

“The response to YOUR PLACE has completely surpassed LNG Canada’s expectations,” says Tracey MacKinnon, LNG Canada’s workforce development lead and creator of YOUR PLACE program. “We launched the program in June, and in the first four months, we have 1,034 applicants, with about one-third of these self-identified as Indigenous women, and one-quarter women from the local area. Our message to women that we are saving a place for them on our Project has really resonated with women of all ages and in all stages of their career.”

While not all applicants will make it through the recruitment process to training, to date close to 400 women have submitted all documents required to participate. Following submission of their documents, a representative of Women Building Futures, the non-profit organization that is providing the customized training, conducts a phone interview with each applicant.

“Women in British Columbia currently represent just under 5% of a typical construction workforce, despite comprising 50% of the working population,” says Susannah Pierce, LNG Canada’s Director of Corporate Affairs, and internal champion of YOUR PLACE. “We don’t see this as a women’s issue, but a workplace issue. LNG Canada and JGC Fluor have set a goal to double the average percentage of women in the construction trades on our Project and the overwhelming response to date suggests we will easily be able to achieve that goal.”

LNG Canada originally designed YOUR PLACE to remove barriers for women considering a career in the trades and encourage women who may not have considered the trades as a viable career option. Removing barriers means that LNG Canada and JGC Fluor will cover the costs of the training, return airfare to and from the training in Kitimat, and accommodations for women from outside the local area. The companies are also providing all required personal protective equipment, including safety boots, hard hat, high visibility vest, glasses and gloves.

Attracting more women to the construction trades in B.C. is an important part of LNG Canada and JGC Fluor’s comprehensive workforce development strategy and commitment to hiring locally and within the province. YOUR PLACE is only available to women residing in British Columbia.

“JGC Fluor is providing apprenticeship opportunities for graduates of the training and welcomes women to work for JGC Fluor or one of its sub-contractors,” says Phil Clark, JGC Fluor Project Director. JGC Fluor is also encouraging women who already have construction trades experience to apply directly to the company for employment, with hiring expected to ramp up by mid-to-late 2020.

BACKGROUNDER
Additional details on YOUR PLACE training and employment initiative

  • Applicants as of October 15: 1,034
  • Number of Indigenous women applicants: 365 of which 76 are from the local area
  • Number of local applicants: 253
  • Applications with all documents provided: 419
  • Classes filled: 1, with 25% self-identified Indigenous participants
  • The 4-week training program is open to B.C. women of all ages and stages in their working life, whether entering the workforce for the first time, looking for a career change, or returning to the workforce after taking time off.
  • Approximately 4500 jobs will be created at the peak of construction, leaving ample opportunity for both women and men to find employment with JGC Fluor or one of its subcontractors.
  • Training will be delivered exclusively at Kitimat Valley Institute (KVI), which increases accessibility to training for First Nations and women in northern B.C. and introduces participants from other parts of the province to the realities of a fly-in-fly-out worksite.
  • LNG Canada will provide transportation from anywhere in B.C. to and from the training in Kitimat, as well as cover the costs of tuition and accommodation.
  • Graduates of the 4-week training program will begin their work at an entry level in a number of trades, including Construction Craft Workers (Labourers), Heavy Equipment Operators, Electricians, Welders, Pipefitters, and Ironworkers – trades in high demand on the project.
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