The Manitoba government is investing $40.4 million to expand and enhance the Sector Council Program over the next four years so key industries can develop and train a more skilled, productive and competitive workforce, Economic Development, Investment and Trade Minister Jeff Wharton announced today.
“Manitoba’s economy continues to grow, innovate, and diversify, and our government recognizes the demand for workforce capacity to address labour and skills shortages,” said Wharton. “Sector councils are integral to the growth and success of business in Manitoba, and these increased investments reflect our commitment to ensuring companies can deliver the training they need to compete locally and in the global market.”
As part of the next cycle of the Sector Council Program, the minister noted the program’s yearly funding is being increased by $4.1 million to a total annual budget of $10.1 million. The new funding also supports a new film sector council, the minister added. Other funded sectors include aerospace, agriculture, bioscience, creative industries, construction, information, communication and digital technologies, natural resources, energy and environment, traditional and advanced manufacturing, tourism, hospitality and retail service, and transportation and distribution.
“Manitoba’s trucking industry needs to bring 4,300 drivers over the next four years into the industry to meet demand. That means we need to recruit, train, and retain a new driver in Manitoba every eight hours, every day, for the next four years,” said Aaron Dolyniuk, executive director, Manitoba Trucking Association. “A transportation and distribution sector council will help address that demand. This sector council will allow us to ensure all Manitobans are aware of the wealth of opportunities—drivers, technicians, office staff and more—in Manitoba’s trucking industry. It will also improve training resources and opportunities for current industry participants. Today’s announcement is a positive step forward.”
Sector councils supported by the Manitoba government represent more than 280,000 workers and 9,000 employers, small-business owners, labour groups and others. The Manitoba government created the Sector Council Program in 1991 to promote private investment in workforce training and development and bring together representatives from stakeholder groups to address changing needs.
Since 2019, sector councils have leveraged an additional $28.2 million in industry funding and supported more than 9,200 companies and 167,000 participants, the minister noted. The increase in annual Manitoba government funding will support new activities to increase program participation and incentivize collaboration, develop curriculum standards and human resources strategies, and promote careers by facilitating internships and job matching. The program will also focus on helping businesses to employ workers from under-represented groups, the minister added.
“The Manitoba Sector Council Program is a poster child for how government funding can encourage and amplify its investments in workforce development. As an industry association, we are positioned well to understand the gaps and needs for workers and businesses in our sector,” said Jack Winram, executive director, Manitoba Environmental Industries Association. “I want to thank the Manitoba government for recognizing this with an increase in funding for all sector councils. We are proud to be an integral part of Manitoba’s economy, especially the opportunities on the horizon for growth in the natural resource, energy and environment sectors.”
For more information about the Sector Council Program, visit https://www.gov.mb.ca/jec/busdev/financial/scp.html.
For background information, click HERE.
News source: Manitoba government