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Youths in Manitoba now have an easier way to prepare for their jump into the part time job market. 

The province of Manitoba and SAFE Work Manitoba have launched the Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course to teach youth about the basics of workers' and employers' rights and responsibilities for safety and health in the workplace. 

"This is a really good initiative and we're going to get young people off on the right foot," Growth, Enterprise and Trade minister Blaine Pedersen said. "They will learn how to protect themselves and will even learn about things like what a pay statement looks like and a lot of other things we take for granted." 

"This is spelling it out for them and preparing them." 

SAFE Work Manitoba chief operating officer Jamie Hall says any young worker can access the course at safemanitoba.com.

"It's a two to three hour course with a test at the end," Hall said. "Once they complete that and pass the test they can print off their own certificate and they can take it to their employer." 

Hall says the course is designed for workers aged 13 and 15 but can be used by all young workers who aren't already in their careers. In a release, the province says prior to this course employers had to apply for a permit to hire someone under the age of 16, which created red tape headaches and was difficult to enforce. 

"This is a change that I think will be more attractive to young workers who will have more control over their own process," Hall said. "It will also be more attractive to employers as well because they'll know that these young workers will come in with knowledge about the rules of working and how to stay safe on the job." 

The Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course is based on a similar course in Saskatchewan which Hall says is very successful. 

He estimates 10,000 youths take part in that course, and he expects Manitoba will see similar numbers. 

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