More Than 1,000 Manitobans Expected to Benefit From Two-year Rebound Strategy: Mackintosh, Swan

The province is launching Rebound, an $11.2-million, two-year retraining and support strategy that will help low income workers hurt by the economic downturn return to work faster, Family Services and Housing Minister Gord Mackintosh and Competitiveness, Training and Trade Minister Andrew Swan announced today.

“We know that many of the Manitobans hit hardest by the recession will also have the toughest time transitioning to another job,” Mackintosh said. “Rebound will help more than 1,000 of these workers including people who might not be eligible for employment insurance benefits and those on employment and income assistance who want to find a good job.”

Rebound is supported with funding for two years from the new Canada Skills and Transition Strategy and the Canada-Manitoba Labour Market Agreement. The strategy combines the resources of two provincial departments, Family Services and Housing, and Competitiveness, Trade and Training, creating a more-powerful and efficient service than could be offered separately, Swan said.

“One of the traditional roadblocks for low-income workers who want to find a good job has been the lack of training opportunities,” he said. “Rebound will change that and give people the skills they need to build a strong career while offering them the support they need while in transition.”

Rebound will help workers return to the workforce in four ways:

Rebound to Work:

* A new proactive approach will help identify and support low-income workers in transition to reconnect with jobs or obtain training as quickly as possible and help them remain off welfare.

* In Winnipeg, low-income workers in transition who need immediate financial assistance will also have easy access to assessment services and training opportunities through a one-stop process.

* People outside of Winnipeg will be able to access these integrated services through one of 12 employment centres or at any of 12 income assistance offices.

Rebound Training Allowance:

* Eligible Manitobans will receive an allowance, comparable to the employment insurance allowance, while participating in skills development or other activities related to their Rebound to Work plan.

* Eligible Manitobans include current employment and income assistance recipients who are ready to enter the workforce and low-income workers in transition who are not eligible for employment insurance and/or may be at risk of welfare dependency.

Rebound to Work Plans:

* Employment and training plans tailored to the specific needs of individuals will be developed for all participants in Rebound.

* Services and programs will include career development, job search assistance, literacy and essential skills upgrading, occupational skills development and training, and self-employment supports.

Rebound Linkages:

* Opportunities for training and employment will be maximized by partnering with employers and linking to their needs.

Participants will be assessed for their need for literacy and other essential skills upgrading or mental health supports. People with disabilities will be provided additional supports through the marketAbilities program and by agencies offering employment programs.

Green jobs will be created by using the Manitoba Works program to offer wage subsidies to employers. These jobs will help build a sustainable, environmentally friendly economy, said Mackintosh.

In addition, the province will extend the child-care subsidy to three months from two months for people who are actively looking for work. As well, eligible workers in transition would be offered family counselling and financial management training through SEED Winnipeg.

Today’s announcement is part of the province’s All Aboard poverty-reduction strategy.