Manitoba has moved forward on approving a new regulation that will provide the education and training requirements leading to the certification of water and wastewater technicians, according to Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade Minister Peter Bjornson.
“The Apprenticeship and Certification Board consulted extensively with stakeholders on the makeup of this important, new regulation,” said Bjornson. “We now have the framework in place so that new and existing water and wastewater operators have a formal training and education pathway to obtain certification in this important field of work.”
The new apprenticeship program is another option to provide operators with the necessary training to meet the requirements for certification.
“This new trade certification provides a way for water and wastewater operators to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to reliably provide Manitobans with the highest quality of safe drinking water,” said Water Stewardship Minister Christine Melnick.
In 2009, a feasibility study found stakeholders were very much in favour of setting up a water and wastewater technician training program in the province. The majority of respondents advised an apprenticeship program would help attract and retain technicians in the province and would be the best way to offer technical training, said the government.
In support of an apprenticeship program, the Manitoba Water and Wastewater Association formally requested water and wastewater technician become a designated trade under Apprenticeship Manitoba.
“With achieving apprenticeship designation, we are better equipped to promote the water and wastewater technician trade as a career," said Dale Scott, chair of Manitoba Water and Wastewater Association. "The formalized training and education pathway ensures that supports exist for the employer and the apprentice throughout the program.”
The new water and wastewater technician program is a two-year apprenticeship and the technical training portion will be scheduled for both online and classroom delivery through Red River College in Winnipeg beginning in 2011-2012.
Designating water and wastewater technician as an apprenticeable trade will create up to 42 training spaces, pending demand, available for municipalities and employers, said Bjornson.
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