Media Contacts

Media Relations

Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
and Responsible for Labour
250 387-2799


BC Job Makers

BC Job Makers are local businesses and employers who drive B.C.’s economy and create jobs, keeping the Province of British Columbia diverse, strong and growing. The Job Makers stories showcase successes, best practices and advice from B.C. business owners and industry leaders.

Inuktun Services – Craig Senych, Nanaimo

Craig Senych is vice president of Inuktun Services Ltd. The company has 52 employees and exports to more than 40 countries, designing and manufacturing modular robotic systems for use in confined spaces and hazardous environments.

Cedar Journeys Caskets – Tom Simpson, Nanaimo

Tom Simpson of the Snuneymuxw First Nation in Nanaimo was inspired to start Cedar Journey Caskets after pre-planning his mother’s funeral. Simpson’s custom-made caskets are hand painted with traditional Coast Salish artwork, which pays tribute to First Nations culture.

Excel Career College – Pauline Stevenson, Courtenay

Pauline Stevenson launched Excel College in 1989 in Courtenay as a computer college, expanding the curriculum over the years to keep up with changing labour market demands. This year Excel opened campuses on four new Vancouver Island sites and Powell River to offer aquaculture training and a health care office assistant program.

Cloudhead Games – Dennis Unger, Coombs

Coombs-based Cloudhead Games was started by Dennis Unger, a pioneer in virtual reality. Since 2012, Cloudhead has grown to 15 employees with plans to double in size this year and move to a larger location.

Long Hoh Enterprises – Alan Chen, Qualicum Beach

Long Hoh is a small specialty sawmill that supplies wood products to countries as far away as Japan, for projects as diverse as Shinto temples. Alan Chen is assistant general manager of Long Hoh, one of the largest employers in the Nanaimo Regional District.

BC Jobs Plan Highlights

The BC Jobs Plan was launched four years ago to diversify and grow our economy and support long-term job creation in the province - we are now seeing the benefits of this effort: B.C.’s economy is diverse, strong and growing.

  • Although B.C. saw a slight decline in November, employment in B.C. has been on an upward trend since the spring giving B.C. the highest employment growth rate among the provinces.
  • B.C.’s unemployment rate is among the lowest in the country dropping to 6.2% – well below the national average of 7.1%.
  • B.C.’s unemployment rate has seen the largest drop in Canada since August 2011.
  • B.C. has record employment with over 2.3 million people working.
  • Since the launch of the Jobs Plan, B.C. has added 126,800 jobs, with all of this growth in full-time employment.
  • B.C. ranks first in the country for youth jobs gained since the Jobs Plan with 27,400 added.
  • B.C.'s year-over-year employment growth rate is the highest in the country at 2.6% (Nov 2014-Nov 2015).
  • B.C. has reached its goal to be top two in GDP growth in the country by 2015 and is set to be one of the economic leaders in the country in 2015 and 2016 according to major Canadian banks and the Conference Board of Canada.
  • Since the release of the BC Jobs Plan, there has been $16.5 billion in economic expansion.
  • By 2024, B.C. is expecting nearly one million job openings.
  • The Province has tabled three consecutive balanced budgets, maintained a triple-A credit rating and has amongst the highest small-business confidence numbers in Canada.
Vancouver Island Manufacturers Sector Engagement Project

Sector Labour Market Partnerships Program

  • The Vancouver Island Manufacturers Sector Engagement Project is a partnership of island employers and associations committed to addressing common workforce challenges in the manufacturing sector.
  • The project is part of the Sector Labour Market Partnerships Program, funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA).
  • It is the first phase of a broader initiative that could progress to conducting labour market research and then build that knowledge into concrete actions to address identified workforce challenges.
  • Under the agreement, the government has committed $30,000 to the Vancouver Island manufacturer project partners to identify common labour market challenges including:
    • Management and leadership skills development;
    • Skills development in the trades, including more industry specific requirements;
    • Sector/regional capacity to deal with training and development planning; and
    • Return on investment frameworks for training and learning strategies to improve efficiency as well as productivity
  • Manufacturing is present in almost all sectors of the BC Jobs Plan and a significant driver of jobs and growth in the province.
  • It is also one of the new cross-sector areas of the province’s economy, along with Aboriginal Peoples and First Nations, International Trade, and Small Business identified in the BC Jobs Plan four-year update 7.
  • The sector-engagement projects help to ensure that government funding and programs for training are aligned with industry feedback, which is one of the objectives in B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint.


Manufacturing industry in B.C.:

  • The manufacturing industry employs approximately 161,000 people and contributes $14.3 billion to the provincial GDP.
  • Forestry is the largest manufacturing sector in B.C., with more than 7,300 companies in operation and employing more than 13,000 people in manufacture of value-added wood products in 2014.
  • Food and beverage is the second-largest manufacturing sector in B.C., with more than 1,800 food and beverage operations.
  • In 2014 it generated almost $12.3 billion in total revenue, representing a 5.9% increase from 2013, and it creates opportunities on farms, fishing vessels, in bakeries, wineries and more.
  • According to the 2024 Labour Market Outlook, the manufacturing industry sector is expected to have 57,000 job openings, with 7,000 (14%) due to economic expansion and 50,000 (86%) due to replacement needs.
  • Within this sector, food manufacturing and wood product manufacturing industries are anticipated to post the largest numbers of job openings in ten years.
  • The estimated job openings for different industries are:
    • Food manufacturing (9,800)
    • Wood product manufacturing (7,100)
    • Fabricated metal product manufacturing (4,500)
    • Transportation equipment manufacturing (3,800)
    • Machinery manufacturing (3,600)
    • Primary metal manufacturing (2,200)
    • Paper manufacturing (900)
    • Other manufacturing (24,800)

Media Assets

These assets are subject to the terms of the News Footage License - British Columbia.