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Manitoba launches three new apprenticeship initiatives


April 13, 2010
By Anthony Capkun

The province is moving to strengthen Manitoba’s workforce with apprenticeships, said Peter Bjornson, entrepreneurship, training and trade minister, by launching three new initiatives that include investing $2 million to create over 600 apprenticeship seats and proclaiming legislation (April 1) that will strengthen the province’s economy by promoting skill development while expanding tax credits that make it easier for businesses to hire students.

“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 4000 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. Since 1999, the number of
registered apprentices has more than doubled, and Apprenticeship
Manitoba is anticipating a 35% increase over the next two years.

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

“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.”

Under Budget 2010, Manitoba has extended the Co-op Education and
Apprenticeship Tax Credit to include high school students, effective in
2011. The province boasts it offers the most extensive apprenticeship
tax credits in Canada, creating savings for employers of $2 million a
year.

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.