The government of British Columbia is investing more than $78,000 to help meet the labour market requirements of the province's rural communities under a partnership with the BC Rural Network (BCRN).
Project ComeBack, funded in-part through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA), will identify strategies to attract young workers and professionals to move to or remain in rural communities and will help address labour market issues related to youth out-migration and an aging baby boomer population.
Through surveying communities, researching workforce trends, and drafting recommendations, Project ComeBack will identify key barriers that youth face in living and working in rural communities. The strategic analysis will enhance the overall effectiveness of the rural recruitment and retention of young skilled workers so that those communities stay competitive in the global market.
Project ComeBack focuses on five B.C. communities - Williams Lake, Golden, Smithers, Mount Waddington and the Northern Rockies - and includes representatives from the BC Rural Network board of directors. Over an eight-month period, Project ComeBack will develop partnerships within each community and will share their research and survey findings with jurisdictions outside of B.C. Project ComeBack will help potential employers and investors build a reliable, secure, local workforce.
The BC Rural Network is a coalition of organizations, communities and individuals who share a commitment to developing responses to rural and remote community issues. Under the BC Jobs Plan and BC Skills and Training Plan, government is actively working to ensure that British Columbians have the skills they need to be first in line for jobs in the province through an investment of $75 million for new capital and equipment to complement $500 million in annual investments in employment and skills training programs.
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell -
"Government is committed to ensuring that rural B.C. communities have the workers they need. That's why we're providing funding to organizations like the BC Rural Network to address key human-resource issues and identify ways to recruit and retain young workers in those communities."
Pascale Knoglinger, chair, BC Rural Network -
"Project Comeback will identify, build and share community-based knowledge and evidence about innovative strategies that enable youth to stay in or move back to their rural hometowns and by equipping rural communities with the tools they need to identify, understand and address the issues facing rural youth."
- The Labour Market Partnerships (LMP) Program is a program that provides financial assistance to organizations to encourage, support and facilitate labour force issues and human resource planning activities that are in the public interest.
- Through the LMP, government funds projects that encourage and support employers, employee and/or employer associations and communities in developing and implementing strategies for dealing with labour force issues and meeting human resource requirements.
- In British Columbia, funding under the LMDA is used to support labour market programs and services for residents who are collecting Employment Insurance (EI) benefits or have received them in the last three years, or for parents re-entering the labour force who have collected EI parental benefits in the last five years. It is also used to support employers in addressing human resources challenges.
- In 2012-13, the $280-million LMDA budget is being used to provide employment assistance services, job-creation partnerships, labour market partnerships, self-employment, skills development and targeted wage subsidies programs.
BC Rural Network: www.bcruralnetwork.ca
WorkBC skills training programs:www.workbc.ca/Education-Training/Programs/Pages/Employment-Programs.aspx
Industry Training Authority: www.itabc.ca
Labour Market Partnerships Program:www.jtst.gov.bc.ca/sector-partnerships/labour-market-partnerships-program.htm
BC Jobs Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca/
BC Skills and Training Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca/skills/
Ideas2Actions - results of the Skills4BC online discussion:www.bcjobsplan.ca/ideas-to-actions/
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour
BC Rural Network