Manufacturing in Manitoba


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4 WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - SATURDAY, MARCH 28, 2020 MANUFACTURING IN MANITOBA BY JENNIFER MCFEE Training and education are key to forging forward with a career in Manitoba's manufacturing industry. In today's ever-changing world, education continues to evolve as the industry changes. The Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD) is a not-for-profit organization that is an Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Strategy holder in Canada. "We work very closely with industry to determine where the jobs are and what their needs are. We offer training programs accordingly with industry support," said Bill Bumstead, who works in program development for Neeginan College of Applied Technology. "Training and education are very important in terms of the manufacturing sector in this province. The pending labour shortage is huge in the manufacturing sector and other sectors. We try to work as closely as we can with the manufacturing sector to develop training programs that they need and that meet our mandate. We're training urban Indigenous people for employment and, by the same token, we're also providing a labour supply to the industry." Technology is making a major impact on manufacturing jobs as the industry transitions away from manual machining and moves toward computer numerical controlled machining, he added. "In the whole area of advanced manufacturing, Industry 4.0 is really changing rapidly. Advanced manufacturing is based on technology, so we work very closely with industry to determine what their skilled labour needs are and what we should be offering in the program," Bumstead said. "We have a manufacturing advisory committee made up of company representatives. We also plug into the Industry 4.0 advanced manufacturing consortium that's been developed in the province and across Western Canada. They're constantly moving forward through education and industry partnerships that are looking at where things are going." Made-in-Manitoba manufacturing is particularly important when faced with global competition. "You have to be on top of things because you're dealing with global competitiveness in this industry," Bumstead said, "so you'd better make sure you're up to date." CAHRD offers an industrial welding program that opens the door to employment in heavy manufacturing. As well, the institution offers a gas tungsten arc/tungsten inert gas welding program, which is more specific to lightweight manufacturing. "All of the programs are either industry or government accredited, so you have to meet those standards. There's a big push to try to attract high school students into those programs because there are concrete job offers for good-paying jobs," Bumstead said. "As the aging workforce retires, there will be lots of openings. Industry is becoming increasingly more involved in partnering in program development and delivery." Similarly, Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology adapts its offerings to suit the needs of the industry. "It is vital that workers are equipped with the technical, safety and essential employability skills necessary for careers in one of Manitoba's leading sectors," said Beverlie Stuart, associate vice-president of Business Development and Strategic Initiatives. "Here at MITT, we meet with industry regularly to ensure that as their business transforms, so do our programs. The evolution of Industry 4.0 has presented us with the opportunity to develop Skills 4.0 programming, ensuring that students are employment ready upon graduation." MITT provides certificate, post-graduate and diploma-level technical training for career- oriented post-secondary and secondary students in four clusters of specialization: information and business technology, health care, human services, and skilled trades. "A hallmark of MITT's approach is its deep collaboration with industry," Stuart said. "Together, they identify skills gaps — both technical and soft — develop curriculum to meet them, and create work practicum opportunities that help students build connections with prospective employers while they learn." Several programs serve as a pipeline to meet the workforce needs of the manufacturing industry. "We have what might be seen as traditional manufacturing programs: graphic and print technician, industrial welding and industrial mechanic/millwright," Stuart said. "Then we have what may be considered advanced manufacturing programs: industrial electronics, cyber defence and cloud administration, and network security." Demand remains high for educated and trained individuals entering the manufacturing workforce. "According to the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the manufacturing sector employs 1.7 million people in Canada in roles that include labour, skilled trades, management, and sales and service. This sector is one of the largest in Manitoba," Stuart said. As the sector continues to evolve, skills acquisition is essential for prospective employees. "Some regions may have a higher demand for some of the skilled trades," Stuart said. "But, from what I've heard, employers throughout Manitoba are looking for people to fill roles in both traditional and advanced manufacturing." OPENS INDUSTRY DOORS P R OV I D E D BY C A H R D The Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD) offers hands-on experience through its welding programs. P H OTO BY DAV I D L I P N OW S K I Industrial mechanic/millwright training is available at MITT.

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