Forty-three job seekers, including former employees who were affected by sawmill closures in Quesnel and surrounding areas, are receiving training for jobs in their communities, thanks to support from the federal and provincial governments.
The governments have allocated $307,000 in total to the College of New Caledonia (CNC) to deliver three training programs at no cost to eligible participants:
- $90,000 to deliver the Horticulture Technician and Agribusiness training to 15 participants.
- $77,000 to deliver the Tourism Services program to 12 participants.
- $140,000 to deliver the Construction Industry Training to 16 participants from both Quesnel and Prince George.
All of the programs are currently underway. Today, MLA for Cariboo North Coralee Oakes, on behalf of Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, visited students and instructors at the Quesnel campus along with representatives from CNC and the municipality. The representatives heard how the training will help participants pursue horticulture and tourism careers after completion.
The Horticulture Technician and Agribusiness, as well as the Tourism Services programs at CNC, are funded through the Employment Services and Supports (ESS)-Rapid Response Fund. The ESS-Rapid Response Fund, worth more than $2 million in total, supports training programs in B.C. communities that are facing local economic changes.
The Construction Industry Training is funded through the Province’s new Employment Innovation Fund (EIF) under the Canada-B.C. Job Fund Employment Services and Supports program. The Province received an additional $6.5 million through the Canada-B.C. Job Fund Agreement in 2016/17, and has allocated this funding for EIF projects. These projects will provide employment services and supports for up to 748 participants throughout B.C. between fall 2016 and spring 2017.
The training investments announced today support the recently announced Building on our Rural Advantages: B.C.’s Rural Economic Development Strategy. The strategy outlines the Province’s long-term vision to ensure that British Columbians in all regions of the province have the opportunity for well-paying jobs and a high quality of life in their community.
Building on our Rural Advantages delivers on a key priority in the mandate letter for the minister of state for rural economic development.
Donna Barnett, Minister of State for Rural Economic Development–
“I’ve lived in rural communities three-quarters of my life so I understand first-hand the challenges they face. Many men and women in resource communities are forced into career changes that often require a different set of skills. Our focus on rural economic development includes a commitment to re-train British Columbians to give them the skills necessary to thrive in a rapidly changing global environment. We are taking action to address the concerns in rural B.C., including steps to diversify their local economies. By facing these challenges head-on, we are giving women and men in every region of B.C. a chance to prosper in our province’s bright future.”
Coralee Oakes, MLA for Cariboo North—
“Our communities have recognised the need to diversify our economy as a result of reduced fibre supply. For the past 14 months we have been working to identify training needs required for transition. We heard at the community opportunity session, held on Sept. 20, 2016, of the importance of tourism and agriculture, and today’s announcement will help our workers pursue these opportunities.”
Henry Reiser, president, College of New Caledonia –
“The College of New Caledonia continues to participate in regional economic development by producing highly qualified personnel that are job ready. CNC has been involved in worker retraining and skilling its graduates for the workforce for many years. We appreciate the confidence the government has placed in us by offering this funding. We continue to reflect the changing needs of both workers and industry.”
Employment Services and Supports (ESS)
- In 2016, the Province established the Rapid Response Fund under the Employment Services and Supports (ESS) program of the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund to support short-term skills training projects that target urgent, emerging labour-market needs in B.C. communities.
- In 2016, the Province created the Employment Innovation Fund to support one-time, short-term and innovative training and employment projects in B.C. communities that are facing higher unemployment or labour shortages, as well as to target populations including Aboriginal Peoples, youth, recent immigrants, persons with disabilities, and people who face employment barriers.
Canada-B.C. Job Fund
- The Canada-B.C. Job Fund supports training programs that provide individuals the skills to enter and succeed in the job market. The funding is being made available through the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund Agreement.
- Through the Canada Job Fund, the Government of Canada provides $500 million annually to the provinces and territories for investments in skills training. Under the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund Agreement, the Province receives a total of $65 million per year – its per-capita share of the available funding.
B.C. Jobs Plan: http://bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca/
British Columbia’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: https://www.workbc.ca/skills
B.C. Labour Market Outlook 2025: https://www.workbc.ca/Labour-Market-Information/B-C-s-Economy/Reports.aspx
Building on Rural Advantages: B.C.’s Rural Economic Development Strategy: https://bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca/b-c-s-rural-economic-development-strategy/