The Manitoba government is investing $24 million over four years to help sector councils provide workforce training and develop human resource services, Education and Training Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.
“This investment will help workers learn the skills and knowledge they need to succeed and support Manitoba businesses compete on local, national and international levels,” said Goertzen. “Governments, employers and schools share the responsibility to create a workforce that can thrive in today’s economy.”
Provincially supported sector councils in Manitoba represent more than 280,000 workers and 9,000 employers, small-business owners, labour groups and others. The province 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.
Goertzen also announced a new multi-year program model that will operate more efficiently and reduce red tape.
“By supporting these sectors to plan, organize and deliver training based on the needs identified by industry, we are making training more accessible and affordable to employers,” said Goertzen.
The province will provide funds to industry organizations in the following 10 key economic sectors to support Manitoba employers with their labour needs:
• aerospace – Manitoba Aerospace Inc.;
• agriculture – Food and Beverage Manitoba;
• bioscience – Bioscience Association of Manitoba;
• construction – Manitoba Construction Sector Council;
• creative – Creative Manitoba;
• information, communication and digital technologies – New Media Manitoba;
• natural resources, energy and environment – Manitoba Environmental Industries Association;
• tourism, hospitality and retail/customer service – Manitoba Tourism Education Council;
• traditional and advanced manufacturing – Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters-Manitoba Division; and
• transportation and distribution – Supply Chain Management Association–Manitoba.
“The worldwide demand for aerospace products and aviation services means the global aerospace and aviation industries are growing at exponential rates,” said Wendell Wiebe, chief executive officer of Manitoba Aerospace Inc. “The funding that Manitoba Aerospace Inc. receives through the sector council program helps us to recruit and retain skilled employees. This will assist our local companies to take advantage of global opportunities.”
The province selected agreement holders through an open, competitive request for proposals. The minister noted the process identified many opportunities for cross-sector initiatives and innovative partnerships to reduce duplication and produce better results. Examples include strategies to support under-represented groups in the workforce, such as Indigenous people, youth and newcomers who lack Canadian work experience and face barriers to employment.
“New Media Manitoba is thrilled the Manitoba government will support the sector council program as a multi-year initiative,” said Louie Ghiz, executive director, New Media Manitoba. “In collaboration with the Information and Communication Technologies Association of Manitoba and other partners, we will provide industry-leading global trainers to local companies, enabling them to up-skill their existing staff and address a critical need for technological talent in this rapidly-growing industry, without having to leave the province.”
The sector council program is a critical step in implementing the recently announced Economic Growth Action Plan. In their report, Growing Manitoba’s Economy, co-chairs Dave Angus and Barb Gamey recommended developing targeted sector strategies to foster competitiveness, facilitate growth, identify investment opportunities and address economic barriers in the province. Councils will work in collaboration with the Manitoba government, industry, partners, stakeholders and academic institutions to inform comprehensive sector and cluster strategies.