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March 27, 2024

NEWS RELEASE: Winnipeg Construction Association Disappointed in Provincial Government’s Apprenticeship Ratio Regression

Winnipeg Construction Association Disappointed in Provincial Government’s Apprenticeship Ratio Regression

WINNIPEG , March 27, 2024 – On Wednesday, the provincial government announced a regression of the Apprenticeship Ratio from two apprentices for each journeyperson to one apprentice per journeyperson. The Winnipeg Construction Association (WCA) has been strongly advocating against this change.

“It’s extremely disappointing to see Manitoba move backwards on this,” said Ron Hambley, WCA President. “Anyone can tell you that we’re currently in the middle of a skilled labour shortage that’s going to get worse before it gets better. This certainly won’t help the industry train more skilled workers.”

WCA has identified a litany of reasons not to regress back to a 1:1 apprenticeship ratio. This change may force apprentices to train under journeypersons who are unwilling to provide their expertise, make it more difficult for rural and northern apprentices to find journeyperson to train under, cost current apprentices jobs and make it more difficult for apprentices to graduate.

“The government has tried to frame the ratio change as a safety issue, but there’s nothing to suggest that a change back to a 1:1 ratio will make workers safer on the job,” said Hambley. “All construction worker injuries have steadily declined over the past five years, and we’ve had a 2:1 ratio since 2021.”

In a 2024 survey of WCA Member companies, 80% responded they would reduce the number of apprentices they are able to hire should the ratio change back to 1:1. 63% of respondents said they would be forced to lay off apprentices.

“We encourage the government and the Apprenticeship Board to consider construction workforce needs and the aspirations of young women and men looking to enter the construction workforce when they’re implementing these changes,” said Hambley. “Fewer apprentices today means fewer journeypersons tomorrow.”


Media Contact: Darryl Harrison, Director, Stakeholder Engagement and Advocacy, 204-775-8664 ext: 2249

The Winnipeg Construction Association is an incorporated, not-for-profit trade association representing commercial contractors and suppliers throughout Manitoba. We currently have over 700 member firms, including manufacturers, suppliers, financial institutions, lawyers, insurance and bonding companies and brokers.