Archived News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

October 29, 2008


$8.2-Million Investment Strengthens Training For High-wage, High-skill Jobs: Swan

Building a race car to Formula One specifications, learning to use leading equipment to design commercial and passenger jets, and designing fashions that could land on international modelling runways are among the cutting-edge, new student projects that will benefit from over $8.2 million in investments from the Manitoba government, Competitiveness, Training and Trade Minister Andrew Swan announced today.
An additional $1.2 million is being invested in trades programming this year to support students who are seeking opportunities in high-wage, high-skilled jobs to meet a growing demand for workers who are trained in technical-vocational professions.
“This initiative offers not only valuable experience and knowledge, but students are also encouraged to develop innovation, imagination and ingenuity - skills that will serve them throughout their lives and qualities that will ensure Manitoba’s workforce remains a competitive player in world markets,” said Swan.  “Building partnerships between our schools and world-class companies such as Boeing, our students can also develop valuable relationships that offer long-term, high-wage jobs after they graduate.”
One of the new initiatives includes the Formula 1 or F1 In Schools project.  Nine secondary schools, Red River College and the University of Manitoba are participating in the international engineering design competition which will see students design, create and test F1 racers based on scientific principles such as virtual wind tunnel-tests, which are used to improve designs for greater efficiency. The first F1 time trials in Manitoba will be held in early spring at Red River Community College.
“Opportunities such as the F1 In Schools project, and aerospace and engineering careers reflect the changing face of technical vocational professions.  In addition to traditional trades, such as plumbing and automotive repair, students are now exploring exciting careers computer-assisted design, automation and electronic diagnostics,” said Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Diane McGifford.
Manitoba schools will be the first province to provide state-of-the-art computer-aided three‑dimensional interactive application (CATIA) software which Boeing used to design its latest Dreamliner 787 passenger jet.  
“This investment will allow students in the public school system to obtain the skills and knowledge required to help us meet our growing demand for a highly skilled workforce in an ever-increasing competitive global economy,” said Willy Geary, general manager, Boeing Winnipeg.
The initiative also has supported the purchase of major equipment such as downdraft automotive spray booths, industry-standard computer-assisted design, plasma welding and cutting equipment, diagnostic scan tools and GPS mapping systems that have applications in high-tech agriculture.
“Trades are increasingly becoming more high-tech and in responding to these advances, we must to respond with innovative approaches that allow students to use their imagination and to develop the kind of creative, outside-the-box approaches to conceptualization their professions demand,” said Bjornson.
Rapidly changing technology and economic demands require a skilled, adaptable labour force that can compete in a knowledge-based global economy.  The innovations and equipment support to Manitoba’s schools and colleges through the Technical Vocational Initiative help to ensure Manitoba students are ready to compete and succeed in these challenging and changing global markets, the minister concluded.  
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