Sicamous and surrounding communities are ready to turn employment data into action to encourage local economic development after participating in a government-funded labour market study with Community Futures Shuswap.
The nine-month $69,000 study assesses the region’s labour market and identifies key challenges and opportunities for increased economic development in Sicamous and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) Area E. As part of the project, Community Futures conducted a survey and review of labour market statistics and case studies on rural economic development, as well as community consultations with business and community leaders.
The study reveals that the area is currently short on labour and highlights the importance of regional training and skills development opportunities, especially for youth. This will ensure local employers can access a skilled workforce and provide year-long employment opportunities. The Thompson-Okanagan Region is expected to have 98,300 job openings to 2022.
A Labour Market Action Team will be created to implement key priorities, including developing an economic development plan for Sicamous and CSRD Area E by 2017. The action team will also work to address the impact of affordable housing, family services and transportation on the area’s labour market.
The area’s current top employers are in the manufacturing, accommodations and food services, and construction sectors. The labour market assessment also indicates a growing demand for workers in the health services sector.
Labour Market Partnerships are a component of the Employment Program of BC’s (EPBC’s) Community and Employer Partnerships fund for projects that share labour market information and increase employability throughout the province. They were introduced with the EPBC in April 2012. Labour Market Partnerships help local employers, employee and employer associations, and communities develop ways to deal with worker shortages or changes in the job market so they can prepare for the future.
The Community and Employer Partnerships program is featured as a component of the B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint. The Blueprint helps align training and education with in-demand jobs and provides more support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market or who face unique challenges.
Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Michelle Stilwell –
“A labour market study provides a roadmap for communities to generate economic development and address their labour market needs. It’s great to see the Sicamous community so involved in this study. Their ideas and energy will really turn the data from this report into action.”
MLA for Shuswap Greg Kyllo –
“The Sicamous area is a hidden gem. This labour market study will help identify employment and career options, as well as training opportunities. I’m excited to see what the community’s input and participation will result in.”
Community Futures Shuswap executive director Rob Marshall –
“The significance of this report is that it involved the input and contribution of the residents of Sicamous and CSRD Area E from beginning to end. The combination of obtaining current labour market information and the community engagement process was critical to the success of the project. The process increased community-wide understanding of labour market issues, provided opportunities for collaboration among key stakeholders, increased community participation and commitment, and effectively moved ‘data into action’. The process connected research to effective community action planning. The Province of British Columbia is to be commended for their financial support of this important labour market study.”
District of Sicamous Mayor Terry Rysz –
“I would like to thank Rob Marshall and his team from Community Futures Shuswap, as well as the WorkBC team, on gathering important data through the labour market study to construct a locally-supported action plan. It is a very important step that endorses the direction of the District of Sicamous Council in support of future economic development. A job well done.”
- Communities that are part of the labour market are: Sicamous, Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) Area E (Malakwa, Solsqua, and Swansea Point).
- In 2011, the total population of the District of Sicamous and CSRD Area E was 3,776.
- In 2015-16, the ministry has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour market programs under the Employment Program of BC.
- The Employment Program of BC is funded by the Province of British Columbia as well as the Government of Canada through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
- Funding supports 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province and the four components of the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
- Job Creation Partnerships
- Labour Market Partnerships
- Project-Based Labour Market Training
- Research and Innovation
To see the Community Futures Shuswap labour market report: www.futureshuswap.com/community-building/sicamous-and-csrd-area-e-labour-market-assessment-and-planning-project/
For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP
For more information on B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills
Learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: www.gov.bc.ca/sdsi
Learn more about the Employment Programs of BC: http://www.sdsi.gov.bc.ca/programs/epbc/index.htm
Find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: www.workbccentres.ca