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TRAINING & EDUCATION - Manitoba introduces new tax credits and hiring bonus

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by Myron Love

In order to encourage more apprenticeship hiring, Apprenticeship Manitoba recently introduced a new hiring bonus intended to encourage employers to hire apprentices.
TRAINING & EDUCATION - Manitoba introduces new tax credits and hiring bonus

The $1,000 bonus is available only to employers, who haven't previous been involved in an apprenticeship program.

"(The program) seeks to increase employer participation and investment in the apprenticeship system while also increasing opportunities for apprentices to pursue practical training in Manitoba," said Kevin McPike, policy and program development consultant of policy, legislation and board operations for Apprenticeship Manitoba.

"Employers can apply for this grant when they register an apprentice under an apprenticeship application and agreement."

McPike noted that there haven't been a lot of employers signing up for the new program as of the middle of July.

"Although, we introduced the program as of April 1, the funding wasn't available until May 1," he said.

"And, it takes a little while for the word to get out."

As well as the new hiring bonus program, Apprenticeship Manitoba has announced some changes to the long running Co-Op Education and Apprentice Tax Credit program, which was originally introduced in 2003.

As of Jan. 1, 2015, the tax credit will increase to a 15 per cent employer credit on wages and salaries to a maximum of $5,000 per apprentice per year, per level for the first two years from initial hiring.

The rural and northern bonus for Level 1 and Level 2 apprentices will continue to provide a 20 per cent credit to employers on wages and salaries with an increased cap of $5,000 per year, per level for the first two years.

"These tax incentives are designed to encourage employers to increase their involvement in the apprenticeship and certification system, hire more apprentices and ultimately help create new training opportunities that help Manitobans get high paying skilled trade jobs, said McPike

"These enhancements to the apprenticeship program are expected to open doors for young people, helping them build their future in Manitoba, and help meet the Manitoba government's goal of expanding the province's workforce by 75,000 by 2020."

Greg Kalaitzakis with Minerva Painting Contractors said that while the tax credit is helpful, it is not a prime factor in motivating his firm to hire apprentices.

"We have 30 apprentices and we would take 10 more if we could find them," he said.

"Our concern is for the future. We need qualified workers, who would want to build a career with us."

Minerva Painting Contractors has been in business for 40 years.

The company does wall coverings, mill work, finishing, wallpaper and hanging and full spray booth services for a variety of commercial and residential customers.

"Our reputation is important to us," Kalaitzakis said.

"We are not going to just put anybody on the job. We want our trades people to be highly skilled."

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