Manitoba Youth Attraction and Retention Project

The Human Capital Centre is excited to announce it has been contracted by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, through a grant from the Government of Manitoba, to build upon its successful Alberta Young Talent Attraction and Retention Project by looking at the issue of youth migration in Manitoba.

Manitoba is rich in diversity in both its people and opportunities. Large First Nation, Métis, Francophone and newcomer communities call Manitoba home. The economy, with jobs in sectors that range from biosciences to transportation and logistics, aeronautics and manufacturing, offers many meaningful work opportunities for Manitoba’s youth. Meanwhile, the province’s arts and cultural sector reflects its cultural richness and diversity. The infographic below maps out some of these opportunities for youth in Manitoba’s diverse and increasingly digital economy.

Download: The Things That Youth Could Do: Opportunities in Manitoba’s diversified economy

Despite this breadth and depth of opportunity and diversity, Manitoba has historically experienced net loss of those aged 15-35 through interprovincial migration, primarily to Ontario and Alberta. Canada West Foundation has a further breakdown of these numbers in the report The Young are Restless: Western youth migration.

Through the current project, CWF and partner Léger will survey the lived experience, perceptions and preferences about work of young Manitobans and youth in other major Canadian centres. Agencies working with newcomers, First Nation and Métis communities will assist us to adapt our outreach to get the perspective of their clients. The baseline survey was fielded in May 2023 and other surveys will be administered over the next few months.

Through partnerships with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, the Manitoba Business Council, Economic Development Winnipeg and Rural Manitoba Economic Development, employers across the province are being surveyed. This survey asks employers about their workforce needs, their perceptions of the skills, attitudes and interest in their industry of Manitoba’s youth, how they attract/retain employees and their perceptions and interaction with Manitoba’s post-secondary education system.

A series of focus groups, to be held in Fall 2023, and a survey of post-secondary graduates will round out the information gathering for this work.

The survey and focus group data combined with extensive research into how other jurisdictions attract and retain youth and economic modelling, will allow CWF to develop recommendations that will help to attract and retain youth to the province. These recommendations will be presented to the Government of Manitoba in December 2023.

To cap the work of the project, a series of presentations with stakeholders will be scheduled for the fall of 2023 and early 2024. A public report and short briefs that discuss the findings and recommendations will be published in early 2024.

Read more: Young Talent Attraction and Retention