Employment Minister Jason Kenney met with leaders of the Manitoba aerospace industry in Winnipeg Monday to discuss skilled jobs.
Kenney spoke with the Free Press after touring the GE Aviation Engine Testing Research & Development Centre, talking about jobs at the facility and training partnerships with local universities and colleges.
"We’re trying support aerospace in Manitoba and Winnipeg. (There’s) a lot of new business happening here," he said.
Western provinces, including Manitoba, have complained about Kenney’s crackdown on the country’s temporary foreign worker program. The program was overhauled after several high-profile abuses, and the provinces said the overhaul is hurting their ability to hire workers in some industries.
Kenney said he’s pushing towards filling what he called a "skills gap" in those sectors.
"We’ve been sending the message that people should go to university, which is a worthwhile direction, but it means we have in many places a surplus of Canadians with university degrees and a deficit of people with more technical and vocational skills," he said.