More than 7,000 British Columbians will be trained by this fall through a wide range of skilled-trades and employment training projects throughout the province, thanks to $45.4 million from the provincial and federal governments in 2016/17.
The governments allocated the funding for four training programs to help B.C. job seekers in rural and urban areas get the skills they need to pursue jobs in their communities. The programs are:
- Targeted Initiatives for Older Workers (TIOW), worth approximately $2 million in total.
- Employment Services and Supports-Rapid Response Fund, worth $2 million in total.
- Employment Innovation Fund, worth $6.5 million in total.
- Employment Services and Supports (ESS), worth $34.9 million in total and delivered in partnership with the Ministry of Advanced Education and the Industry Training Authority.
These four programs funded more than 120 training projects for Aboriginal peoples, women, youth, immigrants, older workers, persons with disabilities and communities facing economic changes.
Funded projects include skilled-trades training such as culinary, horticulture, introductory welding, piping and basic carpentry, as well as employment skills and job readiness support- for example, entrepreneurial and customer training, tourism business management, math, computer and language skills upgrading. Training is delivered by post-secondary institutions, local service providers and community organizations. Many projects have multiple intakes with different start and end dates; most of them started in fall 2016 and all will be completed by fall 2017.
The training investments announced today support the B.C. government’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and 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.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –
“We are expecting nearly one million job openings in British Columbia by 2025 due to retirements and economic growth and it is important that British Columbians have the skills and training they need to be first in line for these future openings. We want to ensure B.C. employers have the skilled labour force required to keep our Province’s economy diverse, strong and growing.”
Targeted Initiatives for Older Workers
- To help more mature workers in B.C. re-enter the workforce, the provincial and federal governments have extended the successful Targeted Initiatives for Older Workers in 2017 with approximately $2 million in funding.
- The contract extensions will enable 12 service providers to continue to deliver skills training programs for older workers, from January through the end of June 2017.
Employment Services and Supports- Rapid Response Fund
- The ESS-Rapid Response Fund, worth $2 million in total, supports training programs in B.C. communities that are facing local economic changes.
- This is in addition to the support provided by B.C.’s Community Transition Services team, which works with local governments and community agencies to assist resource-based communities that are experiencing significant job loss impacts.
Employment Innovation Fund
- The Province received an additional $6.5-million through the Canada-B.C. Job Fund Agreement in 2016/17, and allocated this funding for EIF projects.
- These projects provide employment services and supports for up to 700 participants between fall 2016 and spring 2017.
Employment Services and Supports renewals
- Employment Services and Supports (ESS) program is funded through the Canada-B.C. Job Fund.
- ESS funds a wide range of training, from job readiness and essential skills to entrepreneurial and trades training for unemployed or employed low-skilled, non-EI eligible individuals, including: youth, women, Aboriginal people, immigrants and those under-represented in the trades.
- The objective of the ESS program is to prepare British Columbians for entry to, or return to sustainable employment.
- In 2016-17, a total of $34.9 million was provided to the Province for all ESS programs. These include the Ministry of Advanced Education’s Aboriginal Community-Based Training Partnerships programs, and other training programs delivered in partnership with the Industry Training Authority.
Ministry of Advanced Education’s Aboriginal Community-Based Training Partnerships program: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017AVED0014-000278
Canada Job Fund: http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/training_agreements/cjf/index.shtml
Targeted Initiative for Older Workers: https://www.workbc.ca/Resources-for/Mature-Workers.aspx
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
A backgrounder follows.