Women and The National Training Act Executive Summary of CCLOW's Research Project

Following is an edited version of the Executive Summary of "The National Training Act: It's Impact on Women", presented by CCLOW to the Director General of CEIC, Sask. Region in March.

In June 1983, CCLOW developed the plan to carry out a research project regarding the impact of the NTA on women's access to training. Two broad objectives were identified: ,

  1. To determine the number of women accessing training under the National Training Act in order to make recommendations and to define areas of further research; and,
  2. to make contracts and establish a communications or information sharing network with senior representatives in federal and provincial government agencies responsible for education and training opportunities for women.

With the assistance of CEIC in the form of a $5,000.00 grant, the Regina Branch of CCLOW hired a researcher and coordinated the project.

A questionnaire was designed and distributed to all Provincial Ministers of Education, Directors General of CEIC from across Canada; and CEIC Women's Coordinators. (A total of 33 questionnaires were distributed).

Interviews were conducted with representatives of the same group by Provincial CCLOW Directors based on the questionnaire. (The Director General of Training, Training Branch CEIC Ottawa responded for all the CEIC participants).

It is evident, from the cooperation given to CCLOW that, at the policy-making level of CEIC, there are a number of people who sincerely believe in working toward a more equitable status for women within the labour force. Despite commitment at policy-making levels, the figures clearly tell us that more men and fewer women are taking advantage of training opportunities.

Throughout Canada, both the number of women trainees and the proportion of women trainees have declined in all areas of institutional and industrial training. There has been an increased of almost 12,000 in the total number of institutional trainees but the participation of women in these training spaces has declined by 3.4%. There has been a decline in all categories of Industrial Training and women's participation has declined by 4.4%.

Priority Placement of Women Trainees

For the first year of the Act, 20% of all seats in non-traditional courses were reserved for women applicants. In June of 1983 the Minister raised the 20% seating priority to 30%. This priority placement system has not given women greater access to non-traditional training.

This 'reserved seating' measure neither promotes nor encourages women to take non-traditional training.

When these priority seats are not completely filled by women, it encourages and reinforces the belief that "women don't want it". The 30% reserved seating plan is a good one but can only be effective if offered in conjunction with an aggressive recruitment campaign.

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