Nina Widmer is someone who knows the value of an apprenticeship.
Her father’s love of working with stone inspired Nina to give brick masonry a try, and the 26-year-old Manitoba resident hasn’t looked back. "
I shocked myself! I came in with zero experience having never touched a brick… and basically was at the top of my class all three years." After paying her way through school and buying the necessary tools for her trade with the support of two apprenticeship grants, Nina is proudly graduating without any debt and is well on her way to obtaining her Red Seal ticket.
The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant is a grant of $1,000 available to registered apprentices who have completed their first and/or second year or level (or equivalent) of an apprenticeship program in a designated Red Seal trade. Through this grant, apprentices can receive up to $2,000.
The second grant, worth $2,000, is known as the Apprenticeship Completion Grant. It is available to registered apprentices who have completed their apprenticeship training and obtained their journeyperson certification in a designated Red Seal trade. Nina feels that she has truly found her passion, regardless of the fact that her chosen skilled trade is one traditionally male-dominated. "
I don’t think gender should dictate what you can and can’t do. If you’re a good worker, you get the job done, and you work together, they don’t care who you are. You can support a family, support yourself and make a great living from the trades."
Nina’s long-term goal is to own her own masonry business, and winning silver in Brick Masonry at the 2014 Canadian National Skills Competition is more evidence that she is definitely on the right track.
For more information on how to apply for the grants, visit ActionPlan.gc.ca/Jobs.