Pallister Government Shows Dismal Record on Apprenticeship Registration

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Pallister Government Shows Dismal Record on Apprenticeship Registration

March 24, 2021

1,300 fewer apprentices working in Manitoba since 2016 

Winnipeg – There are 1,300 less apprentices currently working in Manitoba since the Pallister government took office in 2016. According to documents released through access to information, Manitoba had 9,922 apprenticeships working as of March 2020, down from 11,307 in March 2016. Manitoba Building Trades is raising concern over declining apprenticeship opportunities for Manitobans.  


“It is concerning to see such a drastic drop in apprenticeship registrations without a full and proper explanation from the government,” says Sudhir Sandhu, CEO of Manitoba Building Trades. “The government should be examining why so many apprentices are dropping out of the system and do this quickly, so Manitoba doesn’t fall even further behind the country in skilled labour supply.” 


A number of new regulation and proposed legislation are disjointed and conflicting actions that will have long term impacts on the construction industry and its workforce. One of the 19 mystery bills – Bill 55, The Reducing Red Tape and Improving Services Act, 2021, includes the removal of The Apprenticeship Employment Opportunities Act (Public Works Contracts). This repeals the existing government mandated requirement for employers to hire those apprentices on public projects. This directly contradicts any supposed support for apprentices and the future of Manitoba’s skilled construction workforce 


“The biggest challenge in apprenticeship completion is most often achieving enough hours to advance apprenticeship levels and eventually achieve journeyperson status. The only way to do this is through continuous work opportunities and an employer who is cooperative and supportive of this advancement,” says Mr. Sandhu. “It’s alarming that the government is prompting a mass labour exodus by removing the support for apprentices in Manitoba.”  



About Manitoba Building Trades  

MBT represents the common goals of more than 10,000 construction and trades professionals in our 13 member unions to deliver safe, skilled and highly productive labour. Its advocacy is based on the belief that unionized construction labour is the most competitive alternative for public and private project proponents in the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors. MBT delivers cost competitive skilled labour while maintaining the highest standards of training, wages and benefits and workplace safety.  

For More Information Contact: 

Tanya Palson 

Manager of External Relations 


Phone: (204)-801-5301