Manitoba invests $2-million in apprenticeships

Province will also expand tax credit to encourage businesses to hire students

In an effort to boost the province's skilled workforce, Manitoba is investing $2 million to create 600 new apprenticeship spaces, enacting new legislation and expanding tax credits to encourage businesses to hire high school apprentices.

"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 Minister of Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade Peter Bjornson.

The province has also extended the Co-op Education and Apprenticeship Tax Credit to include high-school students, effective in 2011.

The new Early-level Apprentices Hiring Incentive is designed to encourage 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, said Bjornson.

To further improve apprenticeship programs in the province, the government also proclaimed the Apprenticeship and Certification Act on April 1.

"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."

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