WINNIPEG - The provincial government is investing over $600,000 toward a partnership to provide skilled trades training to Indigenous women in northern and remote communities.
The province says it’s partnering with the Manitoba Construction Sector Council to provide the training, and Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox says the initiative is meant to advance economic equality for women and support healthy communities.
“We are proud to partner with industry leaders and Indigenous and northern communities to provide these unique and forward-thinking programs,” Cox says, noting the program will include ongoing mentorship and career support during training and throughout participants’ careers.
Training provided by MCSC will include framing, water infrastructure installation, and blast hole drilling, all of which are currently high-demand skills. The province notes there are multiple construction projects active in the north, and a shortage of skilled labour.
Indigenous Reconciliation Minister Alan Lagimodiere says the program will help improve the lives of Indigenous women, their families, and their communities. He says it’s important that Indigenous women have the training and support they need to build a career in a field with well-paying jobs, benefits, and job security. “Targeted job training for Indigenous women is critical for the advancement of economic reconciliation, as recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Committee,” Lagimodiere explains, citing the Committee’s 94 Calls to Action.
Jobs Minister Jon Reyes says programs like this one will play an important role in Manitoba’s post-pandemic economic and social recovery. Reyes says more than 8,000 skilled workers are expected to retire in Manitoba this year, and there are currently not enough skilled labourers to replace them.