As part of 'Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan', the BC Water and Waste Association (BCWWA) and its sector partners have been awarded $632,500 for the development and pilot delivery of an industry-standard Parks and Public Works Technician training program.
The program objectives are to ensure the B.C. parks and public works sector has continuing access to a qualified, skilled employee population over the next five to 10 years. The parks and public works sector employs approximately 10,000 workers in a variety of occupations that support a range of important and essential services to virtually every B.C. resident.
The program will focus on standardized skills training and certification of workers involved in the construction and maintenance of community-based infrastructure, equipment and outdoor facilities in four main areas:
- Water distribution systems.
- Sewer and wastewater systems.
- Roads and sidewalks.
At the present time, there is considerable investment in staff training taking place throughout B.C. by all sector employers. However, in most cases, there is no standardization of the training provided.
Employers in this sector include municipalities, regional districts, First Nations communities and school districts in every region of the province. Presently, 64 per cent of the workforce is classified as skilled labourers. Over the next five years, approximately 21 per cent of the current labour force is expected to retire and the need for qualified replacement workers will intensify.
Project partners include local governments, the Local Government Management Association of BC, the BC Public Works Association, the BC Municipal Safety Association, the BC Water and Waste Association, the BC Parks and Recreation Association, CUPEBC, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, and BC First Nations.
Funding for this B.C. Labour Market Partnerships Program project is provided through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement.
Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca
British Columbia Parks and Public Works Group: http://bcworks.ca/
Labour Market Partnerships Program:
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
Parks and Public Works HR Steering Committee