With new technologies such as 3D printers, 3D scanners and computer numeric control (CNC) machines beginning to hit the mainstream, it is easier than ever for businesses to benefit from their use.
Finding employees who are trained to use that technology is the difficult part, as is figuring out how new technology can fit into business plans. But the Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST) is set to learn more about what can be done to fill that gap. Through a new study, KAST plans to identify skills gaps and training opportunities in the Kootenay metallurgical and manufacturing industries thanks to more than $26,000 in government funding.
KAST is a non-profit organization that offers business-development services such as coaching, expertise, training, and development projects to stimulate the growth of applied science and technology entrepreneurship.
Through their Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration and Studies (MIDAS) centre and interviews of at least 40 local businesses, KAST plans to find new ways to train job seekers on these new technologies, while giving businesses a better idea of how new technologies can help grow their operations.
Government funding will help KAST report on specific training needs from local employers in the advanced manufacturing and metallurgical sectors and create a strategy for delivering those needs.
It is a study aimed at creating better opportunities for people in the Kootenays to gain a foothold in B.C.’s growing technology sector while helping businesses reach their full potential.
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation funding for the project is provided through Labour Market Partnerships stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships program, which funds projects that increase employability levels and shares labour market information.
Community and Employer Partnerships are featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provides support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. It also helps build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom instruction and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them.
The project aligns with the #BCTECH Strategy, a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of B.C.’s vibrant technology sector and strengthen British Columbia’s diverse innovation economy. The multi-year strategy includes a $100-million BC Tech Fund and initiatives to increase talent development and market access for tech companies that will drive innovation and productivity throughout the province.
In partnership with the BC Innovation Council, the province is hosting B.C.’s second #BCTECH Summit, March 14-15, 2017, with made-in-B.C. tech innovations, thought-provoking keynotes and outstanding networking opportunities. To register or learn more, go to: http://bctechsummit.ca/
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –
“New technologies are giving businesses more and more opportunities to grow, and it is important that there are people ready to step into jobs to do just that. I’m excited for the findings of this study, which will give us more information on what we can do to better prepare the workforce to meet the coming demand.”
Amber Hayes, MIDAS project director, Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration and Studies –
“We will be determining the technical skills and knowledge level our local industry requires. Research and future programing analysis will be completed via the new MIDAS Fab Lab team and regional partners Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation, Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute and Selkirk College. This initiative will support local business and employment, and elevates our community in its understanding and leveraging of technology to its benefit. We are excited to receive the Labour Market Partnership funding to survey our local industry and begin this valuable process.”
- MIDAS is an applied research, commercialization and digital fabrication training facility in Trail focused on the metallurgical sector in the region surrounding the Teck Trail Operations smelter.
- In 2016-17, the Ministry of Social development and Social Innovation has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour market programs under the Employment Program of British Columbia.
- The Employment Program of BC is funded by the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
- Funding supports 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province and the five components of the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
- Job Creation Partnerships
- Labour Market Partnerships
- Project-Based Labour Market Training
- Research and Innovation
- Social Innovation
Who is eligible for Community and Employer Partnerships funding?
- Non-profit organizations
- Crown corporations
- Municipalities, agencies or territorial governments
- First Nation bands/tribal councils
- Public health and educational institutions
Learn more about the Kootenay Association of Science and Technology: www.kast.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/
For more information about the #BCTECH Strategy: www.bctechstrategy.ca
Learn more about the #BCTECH Summit coming in March 2017: http://bctechsummit.ca
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