Manufacturing sector representatives met with the federal and provincial governments today to discuss skilled labour initiatives and human resource planning, as part of a series of roundtables being held over coming months with sectors highlighted in the BC Jobs Plan.
The roundtables, co-hosted with industry associations and employers, aim to stimulate discussion and create awareness about how sectors can access skilled labour and satisfy human-resource requirements, as a result of an aging population. These demographic realities – together with economic growth – place significant pressure on key sectors to find innovative solutions to address skills shortages.
Participants were invited to share information and discuss the unique challenges in the manufacturing sector, specifically related to recruiting and training a qualified workforce, the promotion of B.C. export-ready products internationally, and identifying opportunities for growth.
This is another way government is working to provide employers and industry the opportunity to ask and respond to questions and inform the provincial and federal governments of key labour issues.
Greg Kyllo, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –
“The government is always looking at ways we can partner with industry to best address the shifting needs of B.C.’s labour market. This roundtable brings together stakeholders and government, in an effort to examine how we can continue to work together to meet employers’ labour market needs.”
Marcus Ewert-Johns, vice president, British Columbia, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters –
“Manufacturing is experiencing strong growth — the industry faces anywhere from 60,000 to 80,000 vacancies in the years ahead. As a top contributor to GDP, the community welcomes the strong support from government to address critical labour and skills issues. Today’s roundtable is not only about educating companies on how to use existing tools and programs to their benefit, but the discussions will help strengthen understanding of emerging challenges and foster deeper relationships with government.”
- B.C. has reached a tipping point where less young people are entering the workforce than older people leaving it. That is why government is taking action now to address this rapidly changing labour market.
- Manufacturing contributes $14.7 billion to the B.C. economy – approximately 8.5% of the total Canadian manufacturing gross domestic product (GDP).
- In 2014, there were approximately 161,000 people employed in the manufacturing sector in British Columbia, the third largest share of manufacturing sector workers among all Canadian provinces.
- The average manufacturing wage is 12% above the provincial average.
- Approximately 26% of the employed labour force in the manufacturing sector of B.C. is female.
B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills
BC Jobs Plan: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/