Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy

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Skills, talent and knowledge are key to Manitoba's prosperity

Skills, talent and knowledge are key to Manitoba's future prosperity. Competitiveness and economic growth depend on a skilled, resilient and adaptable workforce. Growing Manitoba’s Economy identified skills, knowledge, creativity and talent development as one of the eleven drivers of economic growth.

The Economic Growth Action Plan announced the creation of a new Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy to ensure the province has the right skills, knowledge and talent to enable a thriving economy now and in the future. It will provide:

  • strategic direction to support the post-secondary education system
  • partnerships to improve job creation under the Manitoba Works 40,000 Jobs Plan
  • student outcomes aligned with an ever-changing labour market

The strategy will build on information gathered from past consultations related to the labour market and economy, and provide new opportunities for stakeholder input. Please take a few moments to share your thoughts on how we can create the skilled and adaptable workforce needed for Manitoba to compete and succeed on the global stage.


Manitoba's strength is its people. Employers consistently indicate that attracting and retaining talent is one of their greatest challenges to competitiveness and growth. Results from a business outlook survey conducted by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce in 2018 identified hiring and retaining staff as the most significant challenge facing businesses in the 12 to 18 months ahead. Forty one per cent of respondents identified skills and labour shortages as a barrier to business growth in the year ahead.

Existing businesses and those considering moving to Manitoba need access to a skilled talent pool to grow and be successful. While in-demand skill sets vary by region and industry sector, a variety of skills and experience are needed, from entry-level staff equipped with basic skills, to knowledge workers with technical skills. Shifting demographics, including a young and growing Indigenous population and increased immigration, will increasingly transform our future workforce. Growing Manitoba's Economy report identified the importance of improving opportunities for Indigenous peoples and newcomers in filling labour market gaps and providing competitive advantage.

1. How can employers and government help build, attract and retain a highly skilled, adaptable and diverse workforce?


There is a growing body of international and national literature examining the impact of technological advancements on jobs, work and skills. Advances in technology, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation, are expected to increasingly transform jobs and skills over the coming years. A number of reports have highlighted this potential disruption on future work. Canada's Advisory Council on Economic Growth has stated that almost half of Canada's paid jobs have the potential to be automated.

In addition to changes to existing jobs, emerging opportunities, such as the growth of the green economy, may lead to creation of new jobs with entirely new skill sets. To manage risks and make the most out of opportunities, employees will need ongoing opportunities to upgrade and acquire new skills, including those that can be transferred across occupations and industries. Education and training systems and providers will need to keep pace with changes through new approaches to education and workforce training, with the goal of preparing workers to overcome future challenges and capitalizing on future opportunities.

2. How can employers and government support Manitobans to engage in ongoing learning throughout their working lives?

3. What can employers, government and education and training providers do to ensure we are  investing in the right training for their current and future employees?

4. Who needs to be involved in supporting this strategic training?


Higher education and training is increasingly a requirement for labour market success. Data for Manitoba shows that individuals with higher levels of education have higher rates of labour force participation and employment and lower rates of unemployment. An international survey of adult competencies also shows an association between higher education and better literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills for Canadians - critical skills for workplace success. Forecasts for the province suggest this need for higher education will continue, as 60 per cent of projected job openings between 2018 and 2024 are forecasted to require at least some post-secondary education.

While more Manitobans are participating in post-secondary education, we still trail the national average. In 2018, 62 per cent of Manitobans between the ages of 25 and 54 held a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree. This was up from 55 per cent in 2008 but below the national rate of 72 per cent. The gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples remains a key challenge for the province. We also know that some Manitobans are entering the workforce without the skills and experience needed to succeed. Gaps in literacy, numeracy, essential and soft skills are also challenges that must be addressed.

5. What would improve education outcomes for Manitobans, including preparing students for work?


Manitoba's post-secondary institutions are at the forefront of skills, talent and knowledge development. The variety of programs offered, and the quality of education provided, are significant assets to the province. Stakeholders have identified the need for better communication between industry and education and training providers, to ensure programming is responsive to emerging and changing needs.

Preparing students and workers for the labour market will require better alignment of education and training programs with industry, to ensure workers have the required skills and experience for private sector opportunities. Strong partnerships and "coordination between industry and education systems" will be needed to support the development of job specific skills into the future. A study of large private sector organizations in Canada acknowledges growing collaboration and partnerships with post-secondary institutions, including work integrated learning opportunities. Strengthening and expanding these efforts will be increasingly important to prepare students for work today and in the future. Forward looking data and labour market information and intelligence will be critical to supporting these partnerships and anticipating future needs.

6. How can education and training institutions better respond to emerging and changing industry skill needs?

7. Who needs to be involved in supporting this alignment?

8. What partnerships would help better allow us to anticipate and prepare for future trends?


To build this strategy, the Manitoba government needs to hear from business, industry, education and training providers, and others. There are many steps we can take with these partners to ensure Manitoba has the right skills, knowledge and talent to enable a thriving economy and a high quality of life.

9. Do you have any other feedback or ideas on steps that can be taken?


10. Which of the following best describes you or your organization?


11. Which of the following best describes your location?