Retrain Manitoba initiative covers training costs of workers

By: Robel Berhane

Manitoba businesses will be eligible for up to $2,500 in reimbursements for each newly trained staff member with the introduction of the Retrain Manitoba program.

The province is funding the program with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, said the province in a press release. The program has a ​$12.5 million budget.

YES! Winnipeg, Economic Development Winnipeg’s (EDW) business development team, is managing the program.

Project lead Wynne Au hopes organizations take advantage of the Retrain Manitoba initiative.

“Our goal is to make sure we help Manitoba businesses stay competitive. Our process is straightforward: submit receipts for employee training and we’ll reimburse you. We hope to distribute all of the funds to eligible companies by March 31, if not sooner,” Au said.

The program comes when eight per cent of Manitoba’s labour force is unemployed, according to Statista. Despite this, the province ranks lowest in unemployment. When it comes to employment growth, the province ranks ninth.

Retrain Manitoba hopes to improve these numbers by providing new skills and opportunities to Manitobans.

Organizations must be based in Manitoba, have a valid and active nine-digit Manitoba business number, and be in good standing with the Manitoba Companies office to be eligible for benefits. Non-profit organizations and charities with active business numbers are also eligible.

Under the new program, Manitoba businesses can train staff at academic institutions like Red River College Polytechnic and receive $2,500 in provincial reimbursements per employee./BRYCE HUNT

Employees can participate in an in-person or online industry-recognized training program, provided the program is relevant to the position and training and is handled by a third party. Although it’s encouraged the training courses take place in Manitoba, they don’t have to.

For organizations interested in keeping training within Manitoba, EDW has partnered with numerous local organizations and institutions, including Red River College Polytechnic.

Bill Rutherford, acting director of business development for corporate solutions at the College, said he is excited about the potential benefits the program will bring to RRC Polytech and its students.

“The program builds a bridge and a relationship between our RRC Polytech and Manitoba organizations which opens the door to potentially have co-op placements, practicum placements, and potentially apprenticeship placements,” Rutherford said.

Applications are processed weekly on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Retrain Manitoba will distribute grants until March 31, 2022, or until the program budget is expended.