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The Manitoba government is partnering with Economic Development Winnipeg and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce to launch Retrain Manitoba, a $12.5 million workforce skills development grant program that will help Manitoba to move to the next stage of economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We recognize that many businesses had to shift quickly during the pandemic and many have made, or will need to make, significant investments in training for their employees,” said Honourable Jon Reyes, Minister of Economic Development & Jobs at the launch event. “This grant program will reimburse employers who are investing in retraining for their staff, both retroactively and for courses starting in the months ahead.”
Employers can apply for reimbursement up to $2,500 per employee up to a maximum of $75,000. Companies can be reimbursed for a range of in-person and online industry-recognized training courses provided by a third-party trainer, both inside and outside of Manitoba. Employers who have already paid for courses with start dates from April 1, 2021, to Aug. 31, 2022, will be eligible to apply for the grants.
Manitoba Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration Minister Wayne Ewasko noted today’s announcement supports the implementation of the province’s Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy, which provides a vision for and sets out critical actions to be taken in the short and long term to strengthen the educational, training and immigration systems.
“The economic disruptions businesses have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic will have lasting effects on the local, national and global economies,” said Ewasko. “This investment will go a long way to helping businesses support employees who are looking to expand their skills so they can diversify and grow our economy.”
Reyes noted the program will be led by Economic Development Winnipeg. Any Manitoba-based business, not-for-profit or charity of any size that has a valid business number and is in good standing with the Manitoba Companies Office is eligible to apply.
“We know the way forward past this pandemic is giving businesses the tools they need to stay competitive, and it starts with equipping their staff with the skills they need now,” said Dayna Spiring, president and CEO, Economic Development Winnipeg. “We are grateful for the support of the
Province of Manitoba and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and the positive impact the program will have on companies of all sizes.”
“In virtually every conversation we have with Manitoba’s business leaders, we hear about the variety of workforce challenges they’re facing,” said Chuck Davidson, president and CEO, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. “We’re pleased to be able to fund this grant program through the Province of Manitoba’s $50 million long-term recovery fund, as we know this is precisely the type of practical, accessible support local employers need to upskill or reskill team members and invest in their future.”
Applications for the program will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until March 31, 2022, or until the funds have been allocated.