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Investments in labour, skills development highlight a stay-the-course provincial budget: Saskatchewan manufacturers

Published by Derek Lothian on March 20, 2013

New investments aimed at helping companies bridge the growing labour gap are a welcomed boost for business competitiveness in the province, but there's still work to be done to ensure long-term industrial and economic growth, according to a group of Saskatchewan's leading manufacturers.

The Saskatchewan Manufacturing Council ( – an initiative launched in January by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, the country's largest trade and industry association – is lauding the government's budget, released yesterday, for its renewed commitment to trades training and post-secondary education, as well as increased supports for improving employment opportunities amongst First Nations and Metis communities.

"Saskatchewan's people are the drivers of industry, and the impetus behind the entire economy," says council Executive Director, Derek Lothian. "Manufacturers today are facing very real skills shortages, which, if not addressed, will have a very real impact on their ability to compete, both here at home and around the world. We're pleased the province is taking positive steps forward to tackle these challenges."

While the council also applauded announcements to strengthen critical infrastructure, it cautioned that spending – if not carefully managed – could have a negative effect on the province's manufacturers.

"Saskatchewan's Action Plan for Growth must be complimented by a strategic vision for manufacturing – one that drives investment, creates good, high-paying jobs, and expands our export base," says Lothian. "We look forward to continuing our work with policymakers at all levels to ensure Saskatchewan companies have the tools and climate they need to win in the global arena."

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