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Manitoba launches Skill Build program linking students to careers in trades


November 21, 2012
By Anthony Capkun


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November 21, 2012 – Manitoba says it will “build on its success in increasing apprenticeship and trades opportunities” and expand its skilled workforce through a new program called Skill Build, which will upgrade and equip more industrial arts classrooms in rural Manitoba for apprenticeship training.

“Training in trades means access to better jobs and, with the Skill Build program, we’ll help more students get valuable hands-on learning opportunities and get ready to make the transition to trades training,” said education minister Nancy Allan. “Bringing more technical vocational programming into our classrooms in rural communities will allow students to learn and contribute to their local community and economy.”

The minister announced the province will provide $200,000 over the next two years to rural and northern school divisions to upgrade their facilities and buy new equipment.

Students across Manitoba are getting new opportunities to begin training in the trades through the High School Apprenticeship Program and through integrating education and training programs with hands-on work experience, mentorships and career development programs, said the minister. Enrolment in tech-voc programs has increased by 14% over the last six years, while participation in the high school apprenticeship program has increased by over 325% over the past four years as a direct result of the support and involvement of the Technical Vocational Initiative, they added.

The Skill Build program is a component of the Rural & Northern Apprenticeship Training Strategy, which includes:

• a new business start program to help new rural journeypeople start their own businesses;
• further development of online initiatives allowing access to services such as applications, course registration and payment, and additional trades training courses;
• investment in mobile training labs in partnership with Red River College, allowing trades learning to reach more rural and northern communities; and
• additional apprentice hiring incentives for levels one and two apprentices.

“With new tax incentives, we’re encouraging more businesses to hire apprentices and provide on-the-job training,” said Peter Bjornson, entrepreneurship, training & trade minister, adding, “… we’re helping more high school students make the jump to good jobs in trades, as we move toward our target of adding 75,000 more workers to the labour force by 2020.”