More women will have access to skilled trades training thanks to increased funding from the provincial government.

On Thursday, the Government of Alberta announced $10 million over four years to Women Building Futures.

The funding will allow the non-profit organization to expand its programming and ensure women are empowered to pursue careers in industries where they are traditionally under-represented.

Nearly 20,000 skilled trade workers will retire over the next five years creating plenty of opportunities for newly trained graduates, the government said.

Kathy Kimpton, the president of Women Building Futures, is confident this additional money will help more women train to fill these jobs.

“Thousands of women will be impacted by this from an awareness stage all the way through to the point where they’re in the seat, taking our training and they go get these high paying jobs.”

Jackie Armstrong worked in the trades for 30 years before representing Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville as an MLA and is excited by the new opportunities created by this investment.

“These women are inspiring," Armstrong said. “They have each overcome their struggles in pursuit of a better life and they all have very bright futures.”

The province says women represent only 5.3 per cent of the total participation in construction and maintenance industries. Women Building Futures works with industry to offer mentoring and training in a trades career and has a 90 per cent or better employment rate within six months of graduation.