Government is investing in a $6.8-million partnership with the BC Construction Association (BCCA) to expand the Job Match program so more unemployed British Columbians can get back into the workforce.
"There are lots of ways to make a difference in someone's life - but one of the best is ensuring they have the support and skills they need to be successful in the job market," said Premier Christy Clark. "Despite challenging economic times, we are committed to further building its partnerships with industry leaders to deliver training and provide supports that give people the best possible outcomes. That's an investment worth making."
Job Match, which first launched as a $2.6-million pilot in the northern B.C. in July 2012, focuses on matching unemployed British Columbians to jobs in the construction industry. Since its launch, more than 325 workers - mostly northern residents - have successfully transitioned to jobs in the construction sector, exceeding the initial target of placing 250 people by March 31, 2012.
"Government is committed to building a skilled workforce in B.C. and Job Match is just one of many programs we're offering to help unemployed people find good jobs," said Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell. "With more than one million job openings expected across the province by 2020, we're focused on ensuring that people are prepared for the many opportunities coming our way."
In 2013-14, Job Match will place approximately 1,250 people into construction jobs throughout B.C. Under this new agreement with government, BCCA will be expanding Job Match services over the upcoming months to communities across the province where demand for jobs in construction are highest, in addition to continuing in the original pilot communities of Kitimat, Prince Rupert, Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson and Fort St. John.
"The BCCA has unique expertise and a long track record of helping construction employers connect with skilled and motivated job applicants," said BCCA president Manley McLachlan. "The Job Match pilot proved conclusively that there is a demand for this service from both the employer and employee perspective, and as new construction projects ramp up across the province we expect to play a pivotal role in recruitment efforts."
While many of the individuals participating in Job Match are former income assistance or employment insurance clients, any unemployed British Columbian is eligible to participate in the program. The program provides unemployed people with individualized supports, including skills training, post-employment coaching and other supports that empower participants to access sustainable job opportunities in the construction sector in their regions. In addition to helping people find and keep jobs, the program also helps improve economic productivity in the province, address skills shortages in certain geographic areas, and reduce the dependence on income and public assistance.
Job Match is being funded equally through the Canada-B.C. Labour Market Agreement (LMA) and the Canada - B.C. Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA).
Job Match supports government's February 2012 budget commitment to match unemployed British Columbians to jobs. In addition to programs and supports offered through the LMA and LMDA, government is actively creating awareness and encouraging people to consider careers in the trades and technical occupations through a further investment of $75 million for new capital and equipment under the Skills and Training Plan. This funding complements $500 million in annual investments in employment and skills training programs under the BC Jobs Plan.
Today's announcement is part of BC's agenda for families. By growing our economy through the BC Jobs Plan, and by controlling spending to achieve a balanced budget, B.C. can continue to invest in core services that support families and strengthen communities.
During the month of November, the B.C. government asked for ideas from citizens on the topic of building a skilled workforce. See what government is doing to put ideas into action: www.bcjobsplan.ca/ideas-to-actions/
Office of the Premier
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour