Manitoba unveils policies to promote training opportunities, workplace safety

Policies to be implemented for publicly funded projects

Manitoba has moved forward on developing and implementing three new policies to expand the skills of the workforce and ensure compliance with safety requirements on publicly funded projects.

The policies will be implemented province-wide for tendering on publicly funded capital works projects, with the initial phase beginning July 1, 2011.

"The province's commitment to expand skills and training, and invest in strategic capital projects, is integral to Manitoba's economy and will play a key role in contributing to strong economic growth into the future," said Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade Minister Peter Bjornson. "These new policies will also create more career options and meaningful employment in Manitoba's labour market."

The new tendering requirements policy will help ensure the highest legislative and safety standards, as contractors will have to be certified with a Certificate of Recognition/Small Employer Certificate of Recognition (COR/SECOR) or equivalent and declare they will follow provincial laws through a bidders certification form, including the:

• Workplace Health and Safety Act
• Employment Standards Code
• Construction Industry Wages Act
• Apprenticeship and Certification Act.

An apprenticeship training policy will be implemented to help build the skills of the workforce, said the government.

A new Aboriginal-people training and development policy is also being introduced, to increase Aboriginal participation in trades and other construction related occupations, said Labour and Immigration Minister Jennifer Howard, adding contractors on selected government capital projects will have to certify they will hire and train Aboriginal people.

The construction industry supports the policies and is pleased to have been consulted by government in their development, according to John Schubert, chair of the Manitoba Construction Sector Council.

“The new policies will provide increased opportunities, improved skills and will ensure staff is adequately trained to ensure their safety," he said.

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