In September 2012, the government launched a Skills and Training Plan to expand and align skills training programs with economic opportunities throughout the province to ensure British Columbia has a workforce with the right skills, in the right places, at the right times: www.bcjobsplan.ca/skills/bc-skills-and-training-plan/
- This plan continues to drive decision making in 2013.
- The key activities of the Skills and Training Plan for B.C. that are underway or in development include:
- Increasing the number of graduates proceeding immediately from high school to a trades or technical program by 50 per cent.
- Expanding opportunities for students to begin apprenticeships before graduation and earn graduation credits that can also be applied to the completion of a trades or technical program.
- Elevating the profile of trades careers through a dedicated trades campaign.
- Addressing priority equipment and facility needs for trades and technical training largely through the existing capital envelope (Okanagan College: $28 million; Camosun College: $29.2 million; and NorKam Secondary School Trades and Technology Centre of Excellence: $6.3 million - $4.6 million from government and $1.7 million from the Industry Training Authority).
- Seeking partnerships with industry and others to ensure students have access to new, advanced technologies and equipment already available on work sites.
- More extensively using B.C.'s sector-based Centres of Training Excellence, building on existing centres for mining and oil and gas, and creating hubs to further leverage the finances and experience of industry partners.
- Offering up to $2 million per year in student financial aid support for specific, targeted, in-demand trades and technical skills programs including power engineering, heavy duty and commercial transport vehicle mechanics and millwrights.
- Encouraging major project proponents to submit workforce needs to government so that government and industry can plan for and target training investments in the region.
- Increasing training funding by $5 million in 2013-14 to enable workers to take on higher skill/higher pay work, and help sectors address specific skill needs. These efforts will be funded through the Canada - B.C. Labour Market Agreement: www.jtst.gov.bc.ca/labourmarketagreement
- Introducing regionally dispersed apprentice coaches and improving online resources through the Industry Training Authority, by mid 2013: www.itabc.ca
- Using funding through the Canada - B.C. Labour Market Agreement to increase capacity in trades programs and attract more women, immigrants and Aboriginal peoples to the trades.
- Piloting approaches with stakeholders and partners that improve timelines and outcomes in specific high-priority trades using the lessons learned from other countries. This includes funding a strategy to front-end load all technical training for a cohort of commercial transport vehicle mechanic apprentices in order to increase their productivity when they enter the workplace and reduce the amount of time they will spend away from work over the balance of their training program.
- Developing new competency-based assessment tools for at least 10 high-priority trades to improve the ability to measure whether or not workers who have gained skills outside of B.C.'s apprenticeship system have the appropriate level of skills to qualify for a trades certificate, and to help fast-track certification for those who do not by providing specific training to address skills gaps.
- Investing $6.8 million to expand the Job Match program in 2013 to other areas of the province in order to support an additional 1,250 people to find sustainable, full-time employment in the construction industry: www.skillcentral.ca
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour