A new $3.1-million skills-training pilot program will target micro-business owners who do not have any formal training beyond a high-school diploma and could benefit from tuition-free training to boost their business productivity, create jobs and help them excel in B.C.'s economy, announced Premier Christy Clark.
"Through 'Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan', we are committed to supporting training programs that meet the needs of British Columbians all throughout the province," said Premier Clark. "This pilot program is designed to help micro-business owners who do not have any formal credentials boost their own skill set, so they can continue to successfully grow their business, create local jobs, and contribute to our economy."
The new Micro-Business Training Pilot will be led by the BC Chamber of Commerce, and delivered in collaboration with local chambers of commerce, training institutions and other community partners. It will provide general business management training skills for up to 1,200 Labour Market Agreement-eligible micro-business owners, who have less than five employees.
Eligible owners will be able to access up to $1,500 worth of business training to help address skill gaps. This could mean taking classes in accounting principles, marketing, human resource management or a variety of other business-related training programs. Classes can be taken through public and private training institutions, including those participating in the Chamber Learning Network. The training may be online, in-class or through other delivery methods that work best for the trainee's schedule.
"There are a variety of skills training programs all over the province, but this one is unique because it focuses on micro-business owners who employ other British Columbians," said Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation. "These owners already have a solid product or service to offer, otherwise they wouldn't be in business, but will benefit significantly from skills training in business-related subjects that could ultimately help take their business to the next level."
The pilot, funded through the Canada - British Columbia Labour Market Agreement, will be offered throughout B.C. beginning in July until the end of 2013. Through the pilot, the BC Chamber of Commerce will increase awareness of the importance of business skills training, and test the impact this training has on business growth, job growth and increased productivity within the participating businesses.
"It's widely known that one of the most significant impediments to growth in the small business sector is the inability of the owners to develop business skills conducive to growth and productivity improvements," said John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. "Regardless of the cause, investment in skills training can only have a positive impact on the success of that business and the well being of its employees and customers."
Over the next decade, British Columbia is projected to have over one million job openings. The BC Jobs Plan will ensure the over $500 million provided annually for labour market and training programs is targeted to meeting regional and industry labour market needs.
To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan, visit: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca
Office of the Premier
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation