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Skills Training | Engineering

December 3, 2012

Manitoba funds trades training in rural and northern schools

Funding through the new Skill Build program will upgrade and equip more industrial arts classrooms in rural Manitoba for enhanced apprenticeship training.

“We all know of the growing demand for skilled workers. 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 province will provide $200,000 over the next two years to rural and northern school divisions to upgrade their facilities and buy new equipment such as plasma cutters, small-engine diagnostic equipment and welding simulators.

The Skill Build program is a component of the Rural and Northern Apprenticeship Training Strategy that includes: a new business start program to help new rural journeypersons 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, effectively doubling incentives for rural employers.

The province’s High School Apprenticeship Program is giving students across Manitoba new opportunities to begin training in the trades through integrated education and training programs that provide hands-on work experience, mentorships and career development programs.

Enrollment in technical-vocational programs has increased by 14 per cent over the last six years.

Participation in the high school apprenticeship program has also increased by more than 325 per cent over the past four years, as a direct result of the support and involvement of the Technical Vocational Initiative, said the Manitoba government.

The province’s goal is to add 75,000 more workers to the labour force by 2020.

“It’s never been easier to become an apprentice,” said entrepreneurship, training and trade minister Peter Bjorson.

“With new tax incentives, we’re encouraging more businesses to hire apprentices and provide on-the-job training. We’re bringing training opportunities closer to rural and northern Manitobans and today we’re helping more high school students make the jump to good jobs in trades.”

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