Premier Christy Clark today announced that students throughout B.C. will have increased access to regional training opportunities as a result of $7 million in one-time funding to 19 post-secondary institutions.
"Our skills and training plan is about training British Columbians for jobs that exist and this investment will help ensure training opportunities match industry," said Premier Clark. "This funding will help our regions grow and ensures that students and current and future employers have the opportunities they need to fill the jobs that are available today."
The regionally targeted skills training funding, which comes through the Canada - British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement, will allow the individual institutions to target specific short-term training that is needed to meet the labour market needs of industry in their region. Possible examples of training could include introduction to trades, forestry boot camp, mining fundamentals and automotive technician foundation training. Institutions will determine specific seat and program allocations over the coming months.
As part of the overall funding, $1 million is being provided to support short-term training that aligns with the outcomes from the Regional Workforce Tables. Additionally, $900,000 is being allocated to support short-term training related to the activities of B.C.'s Centres of Training Excellence.
"A key part of planning for future labour market needs is to make the right connections between government, industry and institutions so they can work together to identify and deliver training that matches labour market needs," said Ralph Sultan, Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology. "This funding will help provide targeted training and give students access to specialist expertise that will provide them with strong, marketable skills that are in demand in their part of the province."
The establishment of Regional Workforce Tables is a key commitment under the BC Jobs Plan and has successfully brought together regional knowledge and expertise to determine how to effectively align regional training to meet local employment opportunities and ensure British Columbians have access to training and job opportunities in their home communities.
There are currently two B.C. Centres of Training Excellence that were set up under the BC Skills and Training plan. These involve multiple partners and focus on mining and oil and gas. The centres aim to provide a central point of contact within the post-secondary system to draw on expertise across the system to support training in the resource sectors.
"This funding will help ensure that regions throughout the province have skilled workers, both today and in the future," said Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. "The Regional Skills Training Plans developed by the Regional Workforce Tables will help align existing training programs to local jobs in the regions and help people take advantage of the significant economic development opportunities that exist in B.C."
The B.C. government has been engaging with the public in a skills and training discussion. One of the key themes that emerged is the need to find labour market solutions through regional co-ordination between institutions and industry, and the need to increase awareness about jobs in trades and their benefits.
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.
- The first Regional Workforce Table open forum took place in Terrace in January 2012. Subsequent forums were held in Dawson Creek and Cranbrook.
- The Northeast and Northwest Regional Workforce Tables completed their Regional Skills Training Plans in January 2013 and identified actions to help ensure northern B.C. communities have skilled workers to fill current and future jobs in their communities. Subsequently, a third Regional Workforce Table has been established in the Kootenay region.
- B.C. has two Centres of Training Excellence: one in mining and another in oil and gas.
For more information on BC Jobs Plan and Skills Training Plan:http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/skills-and-training-plan/
Regional Workforce Tables: http://www.jtst.gov.bc.ca/regionalworkforcetables/
Northwest Regional Skills Training Plan: http://www.nwcc.bc.ca/About/pdfs/NW%20Regional%20Skills%20Training%20Plan%202013-2018_2.pdf
Northeast Regional Skills Training Plan: http://www.nlc.bc.ca/Portals/0/documents/News/NE_RWT_Skills%20Training_Plan.pdf
Office of the Premier
Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology