News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

February 20, 2015


New Program Building Confidence, Increasing Employability: Minister Chief

THE PAS—The Manitoba government and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) are improving access to adult driver education training in northern Manitoba, especially for Indigenous adults and those with low incomes who face barriers to employment, Jobs and the Economy Minister Kevin Chief announced here today.

“We want to help people in the north get that critical first job in their home community,” Minister Chief said.  “Working together we are making it easier than ever to get a driver’s license and that means more job opportunities start right away.”

Minister Chief noted the new program has been integrated into existing job readiness programming already underway in three northern communities.  The first session was launched in November 2014 through MO Harvey and Associates in The Pas.  A second program was launched in January through the YMCA Steps to Success Program in Thompson and a third program will be launched in April through the Flin Flon Friendship Centre Employment Assistance Program, he added.

“This collaborative approach will improve access to adult driver training programs for northern Manitobans engaged in work training programs,” said Justice Minister James Allum, minister responsible for Manitoba Public Insurance.  “I am delighted to see this kind of investment reaping rewards.”

Early indicators suggest the combination of job readiness programming and driver education training has been very successful, Minister Chief said.  To date, two participants have obtained their full Class 5 driver’s license and 20 have obtained their Class 5 learner’s license and are working on their
in-vehicle practical training.

“Many entry level positions in the service industry require applicants to have a valid Class 5 driver’s license and it is often a prerequisite in the light manufacturing and resource industry,” said Murray Harvey, program director, Job Skills North Program, The Pas.  “We’re finding many young people do not have their learner’s licence, and this program has given our clients the opportunity to build their confidence and increase their employability.”

“We needed to hire a furniture delivery person and a driver’s license is integral for the job,” says Jack Podovinikoff, president, Profit’s Countrywide Furniture.  “Job readiness programming that also includes driver’s license supports helps to build confidence in a potential hire.  Without these types of supports, our company would have more difficulty finding the right person for the job.”

Minister Chief said this new program builds on the success of the Citizens’ Bridge program, a partnership between the Manitoba government, MPI and the North End Community Renewal Corporation.  Launched in Winnipeg in 2012, Citizens’ Bridge provides adult driver education training and other services to low-income and unemployed individuals, helping them become financially literate, establish bank accounts and obtain driver’s licences and other pieces of personal identification.  Since 2012, over 70 participants have obtained their driver’s licences.

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