$2-million Investment to Create Over 600 Apprenticeships, Legislation to be Proclaimed to Address Workforce Needs, Tax Credit to be Expanded 

The province is moving to strengthen Manitoba’s workforce with apprenticeships by launching three new initiatives that include investing $2 million to create over 600 apprenticeship seats and proclaiming legislation on April 1 that will strengthen the province’s economy by promoting skill development and expanding tax credits that make it easier for businesses to hire students, Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade Minister Peter Bjornson announced today. 

The Honourable Peter Bjornson

The Honourable Peter Bjornson

“Providing hands-on training for apprentices is the best way to develop the highly skilled, professionally trained and job-ready employees this province needs to meet labour-market demands,” said Bjornson, adding the Manitoba government is committed to creating 4,000 new training spaces by the end of the 2011-12.  

Budget 2010 proposes to invest $2 million to create over 600 new apprenticeship positions, Bjornson said today.  Since 1999, the number of registered apprentices has more than doubled and Apprenticeship Manitoba is anticipating a 35 per cent increase over the next two years.

Also, on April 1 the Apprenticeship and Certification Act will be proclaimed which will enhance the apprenticeship, training and certification system to make it more flexible, responsive and transparent for apprentices, employers and industry, the minister said.

“This legislation delivers substantively on the intent of the recommendations made by the Apprenticeship Futures Commission related to the governance of the apprenticeship system,” said Leonard Harapiak, chair of the Apprenticeship and Certification Board and the Apprenticeship Futures Commission.  “The new legislation will assist the board in its decision-making process by promoting greater stakeholder engagement to better meet the dynamically changing needs of apprentices and employers and improving the accountability of the board to the minister and apprenticeship stakeholders.”

Bjornson also announced that under Budget 2010, the province has extended the Co-op Education and Apprenticeship Tax Credit to include high-school students, effective in 2011.  Manitoba offers the most extensive apprenticeship tax credits in Canada, creating savings for employers of $2 million a year, he said.                                                                     

The new Early-level Apprentices Hiring Incentive is designed to encourage those employers who are not eligible for the federal Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit to hire high-school students who are taking apprenticeship training as part of their schooling as well as post-secondary apprentices, Bjornson said.