Danelle Campbell is a student at Camosun College, currently training as a Plumber. Before moving to Camosun, Danelle had a number of jobs but nothing really captured her passion. She told Camosun’s paper, the Nexus “I’ve come back to jobs but I’ve never worked for a year because I’d just feel bored and I’d get over it, then I’d look for different opportunities.” But that all changed when Danelle entered Camosun’s Women in Trades Training (WITT) program. The program is designed to present an introductory path to women who are interested in pursuing a career in trades but don’t know where to start. It was in WITT that Danelle found a career path that was more her style. Danelle told ACE-WIL that plumbing and trades were appealing to her as a career path because they do not limit her.
“There is no limit to the number of goals I can set and work towards in the trades. The skills I will develop will be valuable in other trades and outside of work too. There are so many different avenues I can pursue with this line of work, weather I want to deal with people or not, be outside or inside, work for a company, join a union, own my own company, use my skills to help family/friends or volunteer or change careers and go into a different trade, all are possible.”
Studying as a plumber provides plenty of flexibility. At Camosun there are multiple intakes per year, usually every 5 weeks, and students can study theory at their own pace. This allows students to finish the program early if they are able to keep up with the work and if that’s what they want to do.
Danelle describes the responsibilities of a trainee plumber as straightforward.
“[You] take care of your tools, the equipment housekeeping etc. Essentially it should be treated like a place of work. There is a “charge hand” every week and they take care of opening up/shutting down the shop [by] turning on/off [the] gas and water, delegating clean up duties [and] making sure all tools are returned at end of day.”
Danelle enjoys the program offering a new approach to fixing problems and the opportunity to put what she learns into practice. In 5 years’ time Danelle sees herself either with her red seal or obtaining multiple skills/certs for advancing her career working towards her ticket. Having those qualifications will give her the opportunity to travel and work. To people considering taking a similar path Danelle says “Just give it a shot because whether you peruse it or not it will give you some legitimate life skills and expose you to so much more available out there.”