Stephen Hume's claim that B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint represents "anti-intellectual prejudice" ignores the facts.
Our universities are already responding to the needs of the labour market and student demand. We want to ensure the funding is there for students when they opt for programs that align with jobs that will help grow our economy.
Targeting 10 per cent of operating grants for health occupations over the past decade has worked well. We are building on this success by increasing that portion of operating grants to 25 per cent by 2017/18 to focus on in-demand jobs.
It is not a case of humanities versus skilled trade programs. No one is knocking the value of a post-secondary education. Students will still have choices.
I do not agree with Hume that we have "lazy industries" and "lazy business"; rather we recognize that employers in B.C. range from small mom and pop operations through to big industry. We want to partner with industry, employers and labour so that they can deliver training and apprenticeships.
As part of B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint we will share labour market data with institutions so they can align programming that is right for their students. We will look at projected job openings. We will talk to industry about its needs. We're doing that with LNG and we'll do that in other sectors.
One million job openings are expected by 2022 throughout British Columbia. A wide variety of occupations will be in demand. Most jobs will need post-secondary education and training. Jobs range from professional and management occupations through to trades and skilled workers.
Our plan will put B.C. students and workers first-in-line for B.C. jobs.