A total of $10 million in skills-training funding is being made available to B.C. sector and industry groups over three years to allow them to play a leading role in developing new training programs to help meet labour market needs, Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation announced. Bell made the announcement during a keynote speech at a skills development conference hosted by the Industry Training Authority.
The new funding builds on a commitment in the BC Jobs Plan to enhance access to skills training throughout the province, and will ensure that industry sectors are better able to meet changing labour market and employment training needs in their regions. This project is funded within government's existing fiscal plan.
Through the Labour Market Sector Solutions Initiative, the B.C. government is seeking funding proposals for training programs that are designed to meet present and future labour shortages. Sector or industry-based organizations experiencing a significant labour-market challenge are eligible to apply. Industry-sector organizations will be able to receive up to $500,000 per training project.
Example training programs might include:
- Certification training for a group of low-skilled employed workers to help meet an identified labour shortage in a particular occupation (e.g. training heavy-equipment operators and drivers to meet job opportunities in northern B.C.'s mining sector).
- Training programs for unemployed workers to better prepare them for working in a high-demand occupation (e.g. training unemployed workers for opportunities in the ship-building industry).
- Training for low-skilled workers related to new equipment, technology or work processes (e.g. retail workers are required to learn a new inventory-management system that is being widely implemented across numerous businesses).
This initiative is specifically targeted to meet labour-market supply, demand or retention issues. As a result, it is focused on projects that will affect a particular sector or industry in the labour market and not just a single employer or community.
Skills training programs will focus on:
- Unemployed individuals who have not had an Employment Insurance claim in the past three years, or five years in the case of parental leave, or
- Low-skilled individuals who do not have any post-secondary education toward a university degree and lack a high-school diploma (or equivalent); or who have a high-school diploma (or equivalent) but do not have any recognized certification.
Funding for B.C.'s Labour Market Solutions Initiative is provided through the Canada/British Columbia Labour Market Agreement (LMA). For more information about the Labour Market Sector Solutions Initiative, eligibility requirements and how organizations and industry groups can apply, go to: http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/sector-partnerships/welcome.htm
Kevin Evans, CEO, Industry Training Authority -
"Enhancing skill- training opportunities for British Columbians benefits us all. The funding announced today will help industry better address its varied training needs, and is part of the way that employers, industry trainers and government can work together to ensure B.C. has the skilled workforce needed to maximize future job opportunities."
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/
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation