As part of 'Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan', government is investing $550,000 over three years to help the B.C. silviculture industry develop new human resource strategies to meet the challenges of a changing labour market.
Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation made the funding announcement at the Western Silvicultural Contractors' Association 2012 annual general meeting today.
The funding will enable the B.C. Silviculture Sector Labour Market Strategy project to initially develop a human resource strategy to ensure that the industry can continue to develop, recruit and retain reliable and capable workers. The human resource planning committee will be led by the Western Silvicultural Contractors' Association, the principal partner and contract holder.
British Columbia's silviculture sector comprises forestry-related activities including tree planting, cone-picking, silviculture survey work, plantation brushing, spacing and weeding, site preparation, fuels management, eco-system restoration, wildfire fighting, prescribed burning, beetle probing and other practices used to tend forests and range land throughout the province.
Today, the industry is beginning to experience problems recruiting and retaining workers. Never having experienced a workforce shortage before, the industry as a whole and its individual employers have not yet developed overall human resource programs or related labour market strategies to deal with this threat.
It is anticipated the project will help the industry begin to establish such programs and strategies. Funding for this project is provided through the Canada British Columbia Labour Market Development agreement.
- The silvicultural industry comprises approximately 10,000 seasonal workers and generates $500 million annually in economic activity in Western Canada.
- On average, about 200 million seedlings are planted each year in British Columbia.
- Since reforestation programs began in the 1930s, more than six billion trees have been planted in B.C.
- British Columbia uses a mix of over 20 different native tree species in its reforestation programs.
Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca
Western Silviculture Contractors' Association: www.wsca.ca
Labour Market Partnerships Program: http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/sector-partnerships/labour-market-partnerships-program.htm
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation