The Manitoba government is investing more than $1.5 million through a new $10-million Labour Market Fund to support the creation and expansion of post-secondary education programs to strengthen the delivery of French-language education at Université de Saint-Boniface, Advanced Education and Training Minister Sarah Guillemard announced today.
“Our government is committed to preserving and growing French language and culture in Manitoba,” said Guillemard. “Training French-speaking teachers and teacher assistants will help to grow our bilingual workforce to help meet the needs of local businesses experiencing labour shortages and ensure the francophone culture will continue to thrive in our province.”
The minister noted the funding will support the creation of 20 new seats in Université de Saint-Boniface’s Teacher Education Program for the 2023-24 program year, as well as the creation of a new French-language Educational Assistant training program with 30 seats.
“This funding recognizes our relentless efforts to help remedy the shortage of French teachers in Manitoba and reaffirms our mandate as the only university in the province responsible for training French-speaking professionals in the education sector,” said Sophie Bouffard, president, Université de Saint-Boniface. “By adding 20 seats to our bachelor of education program and launching a brand new educational assistant certificate set to start in the fall in collaboration with school divisions, we are reinforcing the foundations of the French-education continuum.”
The investments in French-language teacher education support recommendations in the recently announced Manitoba French Language Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy to respond to the increasing demand for French-language teachers in Manitoba.
The $10-million Labour Market Fund is a Budget 2023 commitment and builds on Manitoba’s Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy to provide strategic direction to publicly funded post-secondary institutions, and outline actions needed to accelerate recovery, advance Manitoba’s economy and promote positive outcomes. The strategy includes targeted actions to strengthen alignment between post-secondary institutions, immigration, training and employment services, and labour market needs.
The fund will support new and enhanced training and education for high-demand occupations in agriculture, mining and northern development, education, community wellness and health care.
For more information about the Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy, visit www.gov.mb.ca/mbskills/index.html.
To view the French Language Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy, visit https://edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/action_plan/excellence/workforce_planning.html.
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