WINNIPEG, MB - The Manitoba government is issuing a request for proposals (RFP) to strengthen its Sector Council Program to meet industry needs, Minister Ian Wishart announced this week.
“Sector councils play an important role in our economy and we want to ensure they have access to the best resources and expertise to help create long-term plans,” said Wishart. “We are revamping the program to be more client centred, accessible, efficient, innovative and performance driven. The program will be better positioned to meet training and development needs, and make Manitoba business and industry more productive and competitive for years to come.”
The province is requesting proposals for funding under the Sector Council Program from organizations that operate within industry sectors determined as key to Manitoba’s economic success. The RFP calls for a four-year sector strategic plan with a human resource development plan.
Provincially supported sector councils in Manitoba represent more than 280,000 workers and 9,000 employers, small-business owners, labour groups and others. The province created the program in 1991 to promote private sector investment in workforce training and development and bring together representatives from stakeholder groups to address changing needs. It encourages long-range human resource planning and assists with cost-shared funding and collaboration with business and industry to develop a highly skilled workforce.
The new program model will:
- encourage sector-based organizations to collaborate and partner on strategic planning and human resource development through a competitive request for proposals;
- require organizations to take an outcomes-based approach that demonstrates value for money and contributes to meeting economic priorities;
- provide four-year funding support, rather than yearly renewals; and
- streamline the number of funded sectors to 12 from 16 by combining and adding new sectors and sub-sectors to reduce duplication, increase collaboration and efficiency, and reflect economic realities.
Under the new program, the province will invest up to $24 million over four years, which is consistent with funding in previous years. Annual funding for four-year agreements will depend on the prior year’s achievements, and provincial environmental and economic conditions, the minister noted.
“We believe multi-year funding will reduce red tape, provide greater certainty for sector councils, encourage longer-term strategic planning, and provide sufficient time to effectively measure and report on achieved outcomes,” said Wishart.
The minister noted that prior to this new model, no new sector has been added to the roster in nearly a decade. The revised list is comprised of:
- information, communication and digital technologies;
- creative industries;
- traditional and advanced manufacturing;
- natural resources, energy and environment;
- tourism, hospitality and retail / customer service;
- transportation and distribution;
- northern Manitoba;
- not-for-profit; and
The RFP is posted at www.merx.com with an Aug. 17 deadline for submissions. The competitive process will help determine funding amounts.