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Changing the face of the skilled trades

Changing the face of the skilled trades

My parents’ generation grew up with the image of Rosie the Riveter, an iconic skilled mechanic from the World War II era who demonstrated that women are just as capable as men in taking on skilled trades. 

For some reason, over the decades, the skilled trades have gone back to being a male-dominated line of work. According to Statistics Canada, women make up about 48 per cent of the Canadian labour force, yet they hold less than 4 per cent of jobs in the skilled trades. 

At TransLink, we think it’s time to change that. 

Over the past two weeks, you may have noticed our 2020 recruitment campaign, which includes advertising on social media, traditional media, and at stations throughout our transit system. 

This year’s campaign focuses on skilled trades positions with Coast Mountain Bus Company and the British Columbia Rapid Transit Company, including mechanics, technicians, and service people — the hard-working individuals who ensure our fleet is in a state of good repair and keep our region moving. 

As part of this year’s recruitment efforts, we are promoting the skilled trades as an exciting and rewarding career opportunity for women. We are also highlighting the stories of exceptional women who work for our enterprise, such as Hana, a mechanic at Coast Mountain Bus Company. (Watch Hana’s video here) 

In addition to our recruitment campaign, our HR team is working with Women in Trades Training and BCIT’s Trades Discovery for Women program to explore how we can promote careers at CMBC and BCRTC. As a result of our burgeoning relationship with BCIT, several students have completed internships with us. 

Working at TransLink provides an exciting opportunity to be a part of the team that keeps Metro Vancouver moving. We offer job stability, security, great benefits, and opportunities for growth. 

In recent years, TransLink has been named one of BC’s Top Employers, Canada’s Top Employers, and Canada’s Greenest Employers. We are exceptionally honoured to receive these accolades and take pride in our reputation as a great place to work. 

Moving forward, we have a bold vision for the future, including two major SkyTrain expansions and new RapidBus routes across our region. 

Our transit system is expanding, which means our team needs to grow too. 

In the years ahead, we will require more skilled tradespeople, and women will be a crucial part of that equation. 

Learn more about how you can join our growing team at  

Kevin Desmond - TransLink CEO

Kevin Desmond, Former TransLink CEO

Kevin Desmond is the former Chief Executive Officer of TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority that moves 500,000 people every day. He oversaw planning, financing, and management of a region-wide multimodal transit network that includes bus, rapid transit, passenger ferry, para-transit, and commuter train service, with over 8,000 employees.


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