Governments of Canada and Manitoba announce agreements to give workers the tools they need to find and keep good jobs

News release

An estimated 29,000 more Manitoba workers could be eligible for services

December 5, 2018                        Gatineau, Quebec                        Employment and Social Development Canada

By investing directly in Canada’s greatest asset—its resilient, hardworking people—the Government of Canada is helping to ensure that the economic growth we create is the kind of growth that works for everyone.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and the Honourable Kelvin Goertzen, Minister of Education and Training for Manitoba, announced that the two governments have signed agreements that will see Canada provide Manitoba with over $500 million over six years to invest in Manitoba’s workers. These new agreements represent an increase in funding of over $80 million over the period, compared to previous funding levels. This increase means an estimated 29,000 more Manitoba workers could be eligible for services over the six years.

These agreements will significantly increase the jobs and skills training available to people in Manitoba, including assessments, pre-employment preparation, work experience opportunities, job search assistance, upgrading and certification and more. They will also ensure more people benefit from these programs than before—including people from groups typically under‑represented in our workforce, such as persons with disabilities, women and Indigenous Peoples.

As innovation and technology continue to change how we live and work, Manitobans and all Canadians are met with new challenges and new opportunities. That is why it is more important than ever before to ensure everybody can benefit from an innovation-driven economy—and that means ensuring that both employed and unemployed people have a chance to learn the skills they will need for the jobs of today as well as the jobs of tomorrow.

The agreements announced today are the new Workforce Development Agreement (WDA) and the Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA). In the first two years, Manitoba will receive approximately $167 million—close to $59 million through the WDA and more than $108 million through the LMDA.

Results matter. That is why these agreements include a commitment to improve performance measurement. That means that Canada and Manitoba will be able to measure how these programs are increasing people’s earnings, helping them progress along the continuum toward labour market participation, helping them get jobs that last, and breaking down barriers for under‑represented groups. The Government of Canada and the Government of Manitoba will be reporting to Canadians on the impacts of these programs, so that they are transparent and can be continually improved.

The WDA will help Manitoba deliver training and services, such as:

  • specialized employment programs to help individuals with complex barriers to employment including those receiving Employment and Income Assistance;
  • employment focused services to help adults with a disability in preparing for, finding and maintaining employment; and,
  • support for refugees with low language benchmarks and other barriers to workforce integration to join the labour market through the Refugee Employment Development Initiative.

Funding under the LMDA will allow Manitoba to help more people and more employers meet their needs, through measures such as:

  • 13 Manitoba Jobs and Skills Development Centres providing individuals and employers with access to a wide range of of labour market services;
  • assisting individuals to obtain skills training, apprenticeship training, and/or upgrading aligned with labour market needs; and
  • partnering with industry to facilitate long-term human resource planning and workforce development in Manitoba’s key industry sectors.

Every Canadian deserves a fair and equal chance at success in the workforce. Through smart investments like the provincial agreements announced today, we can strengthen our middle class and help more of the people working so hard to join it.


"I know that our greatest asset as a country is our people. Through investments like today's agreements with Manitoba, we're ensuring our people can continue to be competitive, resilient and responsive as jobs evolve and as our economy grows. When we give people the tools to succeed, our middle class grows stronger and our workers and their families thrive."

– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“Manitoba is pleased to renew this partnership with the Government of Canada and continue to develop a skilled and adaptable workforce in line with Manitoba’s labour market needs and priorities. These agreements provide the province the support and flexibility needed to deliver employment and training programs and services that significantly benefit Manitobans and businesses.”

The Honourable Kelvin Goertzen, Minister of Education and Training for Manitoba

Quick facts

  • Until recently, the Government of Canada transferred nearly $3 billion annually to provinces and territories to support employment and skills training programs. Through Budget 2017, the Government is investing an additional $2.7 billion from 2017–18 to 2022–23.

    • $900 million over a period of six years in new WDAs to consolidate funding from the current Canada Job Fund Agreements and the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities; and
    • $1.8 billion over six years in amended LMDAs to provinces and territories.
  • In total, from 2017–18 to 2022–23, the Government will invest approximately $20 billion in WDAs and LMDAs with provinces and territories.

  • Through these agreements, provincial and territorial governments will have greater flexibility in the design and delivery of programming and services to respond to the diverse and emerging needs of Canadians.

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Véronique Simard
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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Communications Services Manitoba
Government of Manitoba
Telephone: 204-945-3765

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