Media Release

Retrain Manitoba a tremendous success

Retrain Manitoba a tremendous success


February 9, 2022  

Winnipeg—Economic Development Winnipeg (EDW) is pleased to announce it has successfully disbursed a $12.5 million workforce skills development fund to help Manitoba businesses move to the next stage of economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative was supported by the Province of Manitoba and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and administered by EDW. The program was a tremendous hit with businesses.

“We’re thrilled to see that so many Manitoba businesses took advantage of the Retrain Manitoba program,” says Dayna Spiring, President & CEO, Economic Development Winnipeg. “We’ve heard from business leaders who say this funding has given them the flexibility to not only pursue training or upskilling for employees, but recruit and train new employees. I’m confident that this program has put businesses in a strong position for growth as we move past the pandemic.”  

Starting November 8, 2021, any Manitoba-based business, not-for-profit, or charity of any size with a valid business number and in good standing with the Manitoba Companies Office could register for reimbursement via the Retrain Manitoba website. Businesses could receive up to $2,500 per employee up to a maximum of $75,000 per company.

Applications were on a first-come, first served basis until March 31, 2022, or until the funds had all been allocated, which occurred February 4, 2022.  

1,365 Manitoba businesses received reimbursements for 18,086 employees to train or upskill their workforce from a wide range of courses including in-person, online and industry-recognized courses by third- party trainers. Of the 1,365 businesses, 87 per cent were small businesses (with 0 to 99 employees). 

“The pandemic has been hard for many Manitoba businesses as well as employees, and the uptake for this program has been tremendous,” says Manitoba Economic Development, Investment and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen. “This program also aligns with the implementation of our Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy, and will help employees gain the skills they need to be successful and support economic growth in the province." 

“As we round the corner into pandemic economic recovery and restrictions are lifting, Manitoba organizations are ramping up, while adopting new technology, and accommodating shifting consumer preferences,” says Chuck Davidson, President & CEO of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. “Retrain Manitoba was designed to support our province’s workforce in adapting to profound changes hastened by the pandemic, while enabling Manitoba’s workforce to upskill and reskill to meet new needs. We are thrilled with the program’s success, especially among SMEs, as a valuable, long-term investment in an agile, highly-skilled workforce.” 

If companies are looking for more advice and support to help upskill or train their workforce, they can visit EDW’s   

About Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.
Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) is the city’s lead economic development agency and champion for local growth. We use expert analysis to highlight the Winnipeg Advantage and prove why we are the best place to live, work and visit.  Through the Tourism Winnipeg and YES! Winnipeg business development teams, EDW grows the local economy by attracting business, investment, events, meetings and people to our city. EDW is governed by a private-sector board and driven by the needs of the business community. EDW acknowledges that it is located on Treaty 1 territory, the original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene Peoples and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.

For further information, please contact:
Eleanor Coopsammy
Corporate Creative Communications Manager
Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. 
P 204.954.1961 


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