More local people working in local jobs. That’s what the Gitxsan Nation hopes to achieve as a result of a provincial Labour Market Partnership project with the Gitxsan Development Corporation.
The Province has contributed more than $178,000 for the 10 month project, which will develop a labour force profile, training assessment and human resource strategy to help five Gitxsan communities align local skills training opportunities for in-demand local jobs. The Gitxsan First Nation is the largest nation in B.C., with about 13,000 members and 6,600 who live on-reserve in northwest B.C.
Five community-based research assistants in the Gitxsan communities of Kispiox, Glen Vowel, Gitanmaax, Gitsegukla and Gitwanga have been hired to conduct research and interviews for the project. The assistants aim to interview 80% of local businesses and community members to build profiles of local workers’ existing skills sets and gaps, as well as current and future employment opportunities and in-demand skills. Ultimately, the labour force skills inventory will inform an action plan to address skills gaps, labour market needs and barriers to existing recruitment strategies in northwest B.C.
Labour Market Partnerships are a component of the Employment Program of BC’s Community and Employer Partnerships fund for projects that share labour market information and increase employability throughout the province. Each year the ministry budgets $1 million for Labour Market Partnerships.
The blueprint was launched two years ago to help British Columbians get the skills they need to be first in line for the almost one million job openings that are projected by 2024 and to re-engineer B.C.'s education programs toward a data-driven system focusing investments toward training for in-demand jobs.
B.C. invests more than $7.5 billion in education and training each year from early learning programs for the youngest British Columbians all the way through to post graduate education. Over the next 10 years, to better align annual investments to meet emerging labour market needs, the government will redirect $3 billion in training investments to focus on skills and programs for in-demand jobs.
In-demand occupations that require post-secondary education or training range from professional to management to trades in a range of sectors including technology, resource and health care.
Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Michelle Stilwell –
“We are proud to support the participants involved in this project as they build their skills and get the work experience they need to gain a foothold in the job market. It is equally exciting to be investing in a project that will strengthen the local economy while ensuring this vital part of B.C.’s heritage is shared and preserved.”
Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad –
“Gitxsan Nation communities will benefit greatly from this skills inventory and a labour force profile. This project will provide the platform for an action plan to address skills gaps and also be an essential tool to help bolster employment opportunities in the region.”
Rick Connors, president of the Gitxsan Development Corporation –
“This project will help us train our members for jobs and connect their training tickets and certificates to local employment opportunities both now and in the foreseeable future. It will help our community see where we need to close the skills gap and takes steps to ensure our members have the training local employers are looking for.”
- The English translation of the Gitxsan is “People of the River of Mist”.
- The Gitxsan traditional territories occupy an area of 33,000 square kilometres in northwest British Columbia.
- The five member Nations of the Gitxsan Nation are:
- Kispiox First Nation
- Glen Vowel First Nation
- Gitanmaax First Nation
- Gitsegukla First Nation
- Gitwanga First Nation
- The Gitxsan Development Corporation was founded by the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs in 2011 to position the Gitxsan Nation to participate in economic development activities occurring within Gitxsan Territories, and to provide training and employment opportunities to Gitxsan people.
- The Gitxsan Labour Market Partnership project started in November 2015 and runs until August 2016.
- 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.
- Projects that provide opportunities for people who are often disadvantaged in the workforce, such as people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, and youth, are encouraged.
- 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.
- The Community and Employer Partnerships program is featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint that 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.
- 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
Who is eligible?
- Non-profit organizations
- Crown corporations
- Municipalities, agencies or territorial governments
- Bands/tribal councils
- Public health and educational institutions
For more on the Gitxsan Development Corporation: http://www.gitxsanbusiness.com/
For more on the Gitxsan Nation: http://www.gitxsan.com/
For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP
Find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: www.workbccentres.ca
Learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: www.gov.bc.ca/sdsi
For more information on B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills
To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/