The 2009 top-achieving apprenticeship graduates will be honoured at a special awards ceremony and reception today, Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade Minister Peter Bjornson has announced. 

The Honourable Peter Bjornson

The Honourable Peter Bjornson

“The apprentices we’re honouring today had the best marks in demonstrating the on-the-job skills needed to complete their apprenticeship training,” said Bjornson.  “Apprenticeship has provided these young people an opportunity to reach personal career goals and has allowed their employers an opportunity to build highly skilled workforces that meet their business needs.” 

The 18th annual apprenticeship Highest Achievement Awards ceremony and reception will honour 38 of Manitoba’s top new journey people and their employers.  The ceremony, hosted by the minister, will also recognize a variety of other achievements through special recognition awards such as the Ron Krishka Memorial Award given to the trades qualifier with the highest standing on the certification exam. 

Bjornson noted a new award will be presented this year.  The Internationally Experienced Tradesperson Award will recognize the highest-achieving, internationally trained trades qualifier. 

The award recipients were chosen as the best in their fields based on criteria that included on-the-job performance, classroom accomplishments and recognition from both employers and instructors.  The event also acknowledges the important role employers and instructors play in the development of the trade industry in Manitoba. 

Budget 2010 announced that government is moving to strengthen the province’s workforce with apprenticeships by launching three new initiatives that include investing $2 million to create over 600 apprenticeship seats and proclaiming legislation that will strengthen the province’s economy by promoting skill development and expanding tax credits that make it easier for businesses to hire students. 

Bjornson noted, 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. 

In Manitoba, there are over 50 different apprenticeable trades leading to certification as a journeyperson. 

More information on apprenticeship programs including information for prospective apprentices and employers is available at www.manitoba.ca/tradecareers

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