The British Columbia government and North Island College (NIC) have partnered on a new $600,000 labour-market project that will boost aquaculture in B.C. and help residents become aquaculture technicians in the future.
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond announced the government funding for a new aquaculture Sector Labour Market Partnership (LMP) project to business leaders at the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Outlook breakfast today.
This innovative, three-year project is led by NIC in collaboration with B.C.’s key seafood industry partners, and it includes:
- the development of advanced levels of aquaculture technician training;
- different training delivery models;
- prior learning and skills assessment/recognition model; and
- a marketing strategy to promote aquaculture careers to First Nations, high school students and local job seekers.
This project started in February this year, and is expected to finish in spring 2020. The project committee will develop curriculum as well as materials for aquaculture technician training levels 3 and 4, with the goal to pilot the new courses in 2018 and 2019 to 40 students at its Campbell River campus.
In addition to in-person instruction, NIC is also working to create materials to deliver the training online to students, as well as implementing prior learning assessment and recognition processes for the individuals already working in the aquaculture industry to support career development.
Through the BC Jobs Plan, British Columbia is growing its agrifood sector by providing stable jobs and revenue to support strong and diversified communities. The aquaculture Sector LMP project announced today supports the government’s goals of promoting the sector’s interests and supporting labour market projects and programs with the seafood industry.
The aquaculture Sector LMP project is funded through the Sector Labour Market Partnerships program under the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement. The program helps employers understand and respond to changing labour-market demands, ensuring that training and education programs in B.C. are aligned with industry’s labour-market needs and priorities.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –
“Agrifood, including aquaculture, is an important contributor to the provincial economy and one of the key sectors in the BC Jobs Plan. That is why I am pleased we can respond to the request from employers for more advanced-level aquaculture training to support their industry growth. This aquaculture Sector Labour Market Partnership project with North Island College and seafood industry partners will help us meet critical sector labour needs.”
Randall Heidt, vice-president strategic initiatives, North Island College –
“NIC is proud to work with partners to develop and deliver hands-on, industry-relevant programs for the North Island and we want to thank the provincial government for its ongoing support. These upper level aquaculture programs are designed with local students and employers in mind. They recognize the skills students already have and provide opportunities for them to develop strong careers in their own communities.”
- Over the last decade, B.C. has been one of the world's largest producers of cultured Atlantic salmon.
- In 2015, B.C. led the nation in sales of farmed salmon, halibut, wild salmon, wild clams, rockfish, farmed oysters, tuna, hake, farmed clams, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, skate, dogfish and squid.
- In 2015:
- B.C. exported $1.1 billion worth of seafood.
- Seafood sales reached $867.4 million (including $370.2 million in wild seafood and $497.2 million in farmed seafood).
- 255,000 tonnes of seafood were harvested (159,000t of wild seafood and 96,000t of farmed seafood).
The B.C. Agrifood and Seafood Strategic Growth Plan:
Snapshot of B.C. Seafood in 2015:
Sector Labour Market Partnerships Program: www.workbc.ca/sectorlabourmarketpartnerships
BC Jobs Plan: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/
B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint:
B.C. 2025 Labour Market Outlook: https://www.workbc.ca/Statistics/Labour-Market.aspx