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Governments of Canada and Manitoba Sign a New Agreement on Training and Skills Development That Will Help Prepare the People of Manitoba for Jobs of the Future

by NationTalk on April 11, 2008821 Views

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA–(April 11, 2008) – The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and the Honourable Andrew Swan, Minister of Competitiveness, Training and Trade for Manitoba, today signed a new agreement to help Manitoban workers improve their skills, and to prepare them for the jobs of the future.Today’s announcement represents a significant Government of Canada investment in the people of Manitoba while addressing employers’ needs for skilled workers. Under the new agreement, the Government of Canada will invest nearly $110 million in Manitoba’s labour market over the next six years.

Now, residents of Manitoba who are not eligible for training under the Employment Insurance (EI) program will have opportunities to improve their skills. The funding will be used to help those often excluded from the labour force, including Aboriginal people, immigrants and persons with disabilities, gain access to the training they need to find good quality jobs. It will also help people move from low-skilled work to better jobs within a variety of sectors such as construction, mining, and manufacturing.

“Today’s announcement will result in a win-win situation for individuals and businesses across the province: thousands will be able to get better training – such as upgrade their skills or acquire an important certification – while employers will have access to more skilled labour,” said Minister Solberg. “The Government of Canada made an important commitment in our 2006 plan, Advantage Canada, to create the best-educated, most-skilled, and most flexible work force in the world. With today’s agreement, we are one step closer to getting this done.”

“This agreement allows the Province to expand employment and training opportunities to meet the growing demand for skilled labour,” said Minister Swan. “Our goal is to equip Manitobans with the skills that will help them compete for better jobs and at the same time meet the needs of employers.”

“As the leading provider of skills training in Manitoba, Red River College appreciates this commitment from the Governments of Canada and Manitoba,” said Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, President of Red River College. “The skilled labour market is fueling the growth of the Manitoba economy, and it’s important that we ensure that all Manitobans are able to participate in that success.”

The new Canada-Manitoba Labour Market Agreement comes into effect today, and complements the Labour Market Development Agreement signed between the Governments of Canada and Manitoba in 1997, under which the Province assumed responsibility for designing and delivering employment programs and services for unemployed people eligible under the EI program.

Today’s agreement helps fulfill the commitment made in the Government of Canada’s economic plan, Advantage Canada, and the 2008 federal budget to create the best-educated, most-skilled, and most flexible work force in the world. Similar agreements have been signed with several provinces, and further agreements are being negotiated with other provinces and territories and will be signed in the coming months.

Visit the new Human Resources and Social Development Canada Web site at


Under the new Labour Market Agreements, the Government of Canada will invest $500 million annually over the next six fiscal years to increase the quantity and enhance the quality of Canada’s labour force. These resources will be allocated to the provinces and territories on an equal per capita basis. The Canada-Manitoba Labour Market Agreement helps fulfill the commitment made in the Government of Canada’s economic plan, Advantage Canada, and the 2008 federal budget to create the best-educated, most-skilled, and most flexible work force in the world.

The main elements of the Canada-Manitoba agreement are as follows:

– The new Canada-Manitoba Labour Market Agreement will inject approximately $110 million over the next six years into Manitoba’s labour market-based on current population estimates-beginning with an investment of $18 million in 2008-2009. It comes into effect upon signature.

– The new investments will focus on supporting skills development for unemployed individuals who are not eligible for training assistance under the Employment Insurance program, including groups who are under-represented in the labour market, such as:

– Aboriginal people, immigrants, persons with disabilities, youth, women, and older workers; and

– individuals entering and re-entering the work force.

– Under these arrangements, the new resources will also help to provide training for employed individuals who are low-skilled and do not have a high school diploma or a recognized credential, or have low levels of literacy and lack essential skills.

– Funding under the Canada-Manitoba Labour Market Agreement will flow through Manitoba’s programs and services. These investments will support activities such as:

– Skills Development – to ensure that Manitobans have the skills required to be successful in the labour market;

– Employer Human Resources Capacity – to help employers improve their capacity to effectively manage and develop their human resources;

– Community Capacity – to make certain that communities are able to support and benefit from labour market growth;

– Labour Supply – to ensure that Manitoba has an adequate supply of labour to support economic growth; and

– Skills Utilization – to ensure that labour force participants are fully utilizing their skills.

– The Labour Market Agreements contain a robust accountability framework that includes commitments related to:

– the development of annual plans and the engagement of stakeholders;

– the management of financial resources provided under the agreement;

– the measurement of the outcomes and benefits of investments in three areas-participants, service delivery and results;

– regular public reporting of results achieved; and

– regular review and evaluation of activities.

– These new arrangements also contain a commitment to ensure that the new federal investments do not displace normal provincial expenditures within the labour market.

– In developing and delivering its eligible programs and services, Manitoba agrees to take into account the needs of the official language minority communities within the province, and to deliver, where there is significant demand, services in either official language.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

For more information, please contact

Human Resources and Social Development Canada
Media Relations Office


Office of Minister Solberg
Pema Lhalungpa
Press Secretary


Manitoba Competitiveness, Training and Trade
Joe Czech
Communication Services

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