The Manitoba government is launching a new online Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course to teach youth the basics about workers’ and employers’ rights and responsibilities for safety and health in the workplace.
“Having a job can be a fulfilling experience for youth as it can provide a sense of accomplishment and responsibility,” said Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen. “This course contains important information everyone should know before getting their first job.”
The interactive course is based on Saskatchewan’s successful youth readiness course and is tailored for Manitoba. It will help aspiring young workers to:
- understand more about the work world and where to go for information about workplace safety and health;
- examine a pay statement;
- learn about workplace expectations and responsibilities and practice problem solving; and
- know workers’ and employers’ rights and responsibilities for keeping workplaces safe, and how to recognize and address common workplace hazards.
“At SAFE Work Manitoba, we recognize how vital this initiative is for Manitoba’s youngest workers,” said Jamie Hall, chief operating officer of SAFE Work Manitoba. “The course will help keep young workers safe. Young workers can be more vulnerable to injuries as they haven’t had work experience and don’t necessarily know the potential hazards of the workplace. When they’re well-informed, everyone is one step closer to coming home safe at the end of the day.”
Employers seeking to hire a worker under the age of 16 are required to confirm the successful completion of the course and keep a copy of the certificate as an employment record. The certificate of completion is transferable to different employers, meaning youth only need to complete the course once.
“The new online training course will better prepare young Manitobans for entering the workforce and help keep them safe,” said Pedersen.
The course replaces an outdated process where employers were required to apply for a government permit to hire a young worker between the ages of 13 and 15, regardless of type of work. Manitoba was the only province in Canada that required such a permit, which created red tape headaches for employers and was difficult to enforce, Pedersen said.
“This initiative is designed to enhance the knowledge and safety consciousness of young workers, which we hope will help create a lifetime culture of safety among young Manitobans,” said Bill Gardner, chair of the Manitoba Employers Council.
The minister noted a person must be 13 years of age to work in Manitoba and employers must follow rules to protect the safety and health of young people in the workplace.
Young people who are 13, 14 or 15 years of age are not permitted to work:
- on a construction site;
- in industrial or manufacturing processes;
- on drilling or servicing rigs;
- on scaffolds or swing stages;
- pruning, repairing, maintaining, or removing trees or shrubs;
- at heights more than 1.5 metres;
- with herbicides or pesticides; or
- without direct adult supervision.
Additionally, 13 year olds cannot work with dangerous tools or machinery, such as knives, slicers or deep fryers, in the food preparation industry.
There are also restrictions on the hours a person under 16 years of age can work. Young people aged 13, 14, or 15 cannot work between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., and cannot work more than 20 hours per week during a school week.
Youth can now complete the Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course online. The course is administered by the Manitoba government and was developed in partnership with SAFE Work Manitoba.