A Manitoba community is looking to attract more workers to meet a labour shortage, and in order to do so, the town’s council is working to remove a potential barrier.
Niverville Mayor Myron Dyck told Global News the town is covering the cost of English classes for potential new workers who may not have enough of a grasp on the language to get hired in a variety of fields.
“It kind of started with a phone call from a business owner that reached out to me and said they were having trouble getting employees,” Dyck said, “to the point that they were driving to (Winnipeg) to pick people up and bring them to work.
“Further to that, there was some concern that employees that might be available that they could hire, that they just weren’t certain they have enough English skills to be hired.”
Dyck said the Niverville council approached the local chambers of commerce with the idea of offering language classes to help potential employees, and everyone was on board.
The project, in part, connects to a strategic plan Niverville put together in 2009, he said, which aimed to diversify the primarily residential town to include more of a business community.
“We’ve made a concerted effort to grow our business community,” he said, “and it kind of goes hand in hand with our residential — you can’t have business if you don’t have employees … and, of course, customers.
“Everyone is looking for workers in a variety of fields. What I’ve heard from different business owners is anything that can be done to assist them to draw from a larger potential employee pool is welcome.”
Dyck said an instructor has been hired, and the English classes are set to be held this fall.
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