It what it is calling the Atlantic Apprenticeship Harmonization Project, a current total of 16 trades will be harmonized across Canada’s Atlantic Provinces.
It is expected that 15,000 apprentices per year across Atlantic Canada will benefit as a result of this harmonization.
The Atlantic Apprenticeship Harmonization Project will help keep apprentices in Atlantic Canada, increase their apprenticeship completion rates, and help address skills shortages in Atlantic Provinces.
The new investment will help make training requirements, certification and standards more consistent in the following six trades: truck and transport mechanic, heavy duty equipment technician, automotive service technician, sprinkler system installer, construction boilermaker, and industrial mechanic (millwright).
The project also includes the development of a $13.8 million shared IT system supported by $4.86 million from the Federal Government, with the Atlantic provinces and Manitoba contributing the remainder. The shared IT system will provide online access to complete forms, process payments, log hours and complete a wide variety of other tasks that are currently paper-based and time-consuming.
The Atlantic Apprenticeship Harmonization Project will now harmonize a total of 16 trades across the Atlantic region, with the Government of Canada contributing over $7.6 million and the Atlantic provinces and Manitoba contributing over $10 million to the project.
In a related announcement, the governments of Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, have signed an agreement to develop a shared apprenticeship management system that will improve and modernize online services.
“Strengthening the services we provide for Manitobans is a priority for our government and we are pleased to take an important step forward to modernize the apprenticeship program,” said Manitoba Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart. “This new system will improve services for apprentices, employers, journeypersons and training providers with modern, web-based technology. It will eliminate red tape by replacing the current cumbersome and time-consuming need to register for classes in-person with easy-to-use online registration.”
The minister noted the current system has limited online client-service functions and is reaching the end of its useful life. The new apprenticeship management system will better meet the needs of apprentices, training providers and employers and will allow Apprenticeship Manitoba to ensure effective communication and enhanced reporting.
“Manitoba’s apprenticeship system is built on strong partnerships between employers, educators and learners,” said Wishart. “We are taking action to ensure this important part of our education system remains responsive to industry needs and supports the continued growth and development of Manitoba’s economy.”
Wishart confirmed the new system will allow apprentices, training providers and employers to complete forms, process payments and log hours online with self-service functions. Developing a shared system with the Atlantic provinces will also reduce implementation and maintenance costs, and will enable improved forecasting of training offerings, especially to meet regional demands, he added.
The shared system is partially funded by the government of Canada. In addition to funding from the federal government and the governments of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, the Manitoba government’s investment of $3.7 million over five years enables the acquisition of a state-of-the-art new system for only 14 per cent of the total cost.
“This partnership is a prime example of a strategic investment that not only will improve services for Manitobans but also provide value for taxpayer money,” said Wishart.
The new, shared technology system is expected to be in place in 2019, he added.