A $248,525 study funded by the British Columbia government, in partnership with the Kitamaat Valley Education Society, will create a strategy for employers to attract and retain workers in and around Kitimat, Terrace and Smithers.
The goal of the strategy is to build community capacity and address the market challenges that are being experienced in the Lower Skeena region, as multiple large-scale projects are in the works that have the potential to create thousands of new jobs for local residents. These include the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry, the alfalfa plant at Kitselas Industrial Park and the Pacific Future Energy’s oil refinery.
The strategy will cover a broad range of industries and will be developed by a consultant, who will work with local employers, such as Rio Tinto and LNG Canada, and community organizations like Where Careers Grow and the Kitimat Community Services Society. Local First Nations will also have extensive input, as will the local business community, residents, government officials and educational institutions.
The analysis will include an evaluation of the region’s workforce supply, and the gaps and other factors that influence recruitment, attraction efforts and labour market participation. Once that information is collected, the report will give recommendations on aligning worker skills with employers’ needs and strengthening participation of Aboriginal people, new Canadians, older workers and students into the local labour market. It will also include information that secondary and post-secondary training institutions can use to better align programs with the region’s labour market needs.
The report is expected to be complete in March 2018, when it will be shared with the community and business stakeholders, and posted online at: www.kves.ca
This study is one of the key ways the B.C. government is taking action to strengthen, grow and diversify rural communities. It builds on the immediate investments and long-term action plan outlined in B.C.’s Rural Economic Development Strategy that are expected to create over 26,000 jobs and add $2.8 billion to provincial GDP.
Funding for the project is provided through the Labour Market Partnerships stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships program.
Labour Market Partnerships are part of the Employment Program of British Columbia’s Community and Employer Partnerships, which fund projects that increase employability and share labour market information.
Community and Employer Partnerships are featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provide more support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. They help build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them.
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –
“We are always working to find new ways to bring job opportunities to British Columbians throughout the province. Through this study, people in the Lower Skeena region will have a plan they can use to put people to work and create better lives for themselves and their families while continuing to grow our economy.”
Sherrie Little, president and CEO, Kitamaat Valley Education Society (KVES) –
“There is limited current information to help the communities analyze the area’s labour market challenges and opportunities. This study is crucial to a collaborative action plan that will effectively address the impact of potential future regional investments. This detailed labour market study will help the communities develop market strategies aimed at increasing the availability of skilled labour. KVES is thrilled to work in partnership with regional organizations as we grow our economy. ”
Tanya Rexin, education manager, Haisla Nation Council –
“Haisla Nation Council is committed to working with our community partners to help Aboriginal workers align their training and education with the opportunities in the region. We are excited that this study is forthcoming to provide valuable information for employers and employees to position themselves for the coming years.”
Mayor Carol Leclerc, City of Terrace –
“The market research that comes out of this study will be extremely valuable in assessing our community’s industry and labour challenges. It will be a useful tool for us to gauge what steps need to be taken going forward.”
- In 2016-17, 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.
- 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 for Community and Employer Partnerships funding?
- Non-profit organizations
- Crown corporations
- Municipalities, agencies or territorial governments
- Bands/tribal councils
- Public health and educational institutions
For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP
Find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: www.workbccentres.ca
For more information about the BC Rural Economic Development Strategy: https://bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca/b-c-s-rural-economic-development-strategy/
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/