The B.C. government has formed a partnership with the United Steelworkers Union (USW) to pilot new skills training for its members in the North, with a focus in the areas of forestry and mining.
A total of $2.9 million is being provided for this Northern Skills Training Pilot over the next 18 months.
This initiative is part of the commitment made in the 'Canada Starts Here: the BC Jobs Plan' to enhance training opportunities to meet regional labour market needs. With major projects underway and planned in B.C.'s north, this partnership helps fill the need for increasingly skilled workers.
As an umbrella union, with over 6,000 members and their employers, the steelworkers union is a large and diverse union which is uniquely positioned to encourage and help workers to upgrade their skills and take advantage of new job opportunities.
According to a 2003 study, more than half of the forestry and mining workers in the north have low literacy and numeracy levels. The pilot will enable the union to offer supports in key areas such as language and literacy training, technology upgrades, numeracy and document use. The essential skills training will be provided by the union through local service providers.
Funding for the Northern Skills Training Pilot is provided through the Canada/British Columbia Labour Market Agreement.
Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/
Skills for Growth, British Columbia's labour market strategy to 2020: http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/skills_for_growth/welcome.htm
Canada/British Columbia Labour Market Agreement: http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/labourmarketagreement/
Senior Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation