Minister Kenney talks skills training on tour of GE Aviation Engine Testing Research & Development Centre

WINNIPEG, Aug. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, and Joyce Bateman, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre, met today with Mr. Vic Gerden, CEO of WestCanitest R&D (WestCaRD) and Mr. Ken Webb, Executive Director of Manitoba Aerospace, to discuss the Government of Canada's actions to ensure Canadians have the skills in demand in today's economy. Minister Kenney, MP Bateman, Mr. Gerden and Mr. Webb were touring the GE Aviation Engine Testing Research & Development Centre in Winnipeg.

More than 50 percent of employment in Canada's aerospace industry is comprised of occupations in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Minister Kenney highlighted the importance of encouraging Canadians to pursue careers in high-demand STEM occupations to help ensure their own success, as well as the continued growth of key industries, such as aerospace.

He noted several supports provided by the Government, including $40 million over two years, announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in May 2014, to support up to 3,000 paid internships for post-secondary graduates in high-demand fields. The Government is also taking steps to provide more information to youth on the job prospects and benefits of working in the skilled trades and STEM occupations.

The Government of Canada is taking action to help Canadians connect with jobs through a variety of initiatives outlined in its Economic Action Plan. These include introducing the Canada Job Grant, the Canada Apprentice Loan and apprenticeship grants.

Quick Facts

  • In 2013, the Canadian aerospace industry contributed close to $28 billion to Canada's gross domestic product and over 170,000 jobs to the Canadian economy.
  • In 2012, the Government announced an initial investment of $5 million to enable WestCaRD to broaden and advance the aerospace industry and manufacturing in Manitoba by developing new technologies and research capabilities. In 2013, the Government invested an additional $1 million for the purchase of an advanced aerospace handling workstation and testing equipment.


"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. Our government is taking action to ensure young Canadians have the education, skills and training they need to find in-demand jobs in key sectors of the economy—including the STEM sector."
- The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development

"Our government's investment in this research and development centre has helped WestCaRD innovate and solidify Manitoba's place in global aerospace, as well as make it the world's leading cold-weather testing location. Equally important is our investment in skills training, which will equip companies like this with workers that have the skills and expertise to help them grow."
- Joyce Bateman, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre

"Fostering the development of the highly skilled technical workforce needed to globally compete in the development and certification testing, maintenance and repair of the world's most advanced turbine engines is one of the objectives of WestCaRD. We are grateful for the Government's recognition of the long-term job opportunities in this sector and their investment in various programs that will create jobs and help build the skilled workforce needed for the aerospace sector to continue to contribute significantly to the economy of Manitoba and Canada."
- Vic Gerden, CEO of WestCaRD

Associated Link

Harper Government Supports Expansion of Aerospace Research and Development in Manitoba

SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information:

Alexandra Fortier
Office of Minister Kenney

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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