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Jill of All Trades event introduces junior high students to a different career path

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More than 150 female grade 8 and 9 students were at SAIT Wednesday to learn about a life in skilled trades. 

The second annual Jill of All Trades afternoon was aimed at teaching and inspiring young women who may not know what career path they want to take. 

The afternoon offered hands-on activities and demonstrations for the students to try out -- everything from welding and drone flying to wood-working and automotive repair. 

"The girls got to choose three of the nine activities," SAIT's School of Construction Dean Dr. Reva Bond said. "They're accompanied by up to six industry female mentors for the day as well. So it's about doing the activities, having those conversations and really broadening people's perspectives on what's possible."

Currently in Canada, Bond says most workforces in the trades have about five per cent women. 

She hopes inspiring the next generation and focusing on retaining workers could fix that diversity problem. 

"The more women we can bring in, the more balance we can achieve," she said, "and we can make a safe environment for everyone to work in."

This year, the Jill of All Trades event brought in students from five different school boards, including a school from Tsuut’ina Education.

"I love it," grade 9 student Dana Albabo said. "There's a bunch of fun things to do and explore."

"It's a fun experience," Ajla Durakovic added. "In (the trades), it's not just men. Women can get involved too."

The event is hosted in other North American cities, including inside Edmonton's NAIT.

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