The Province is committing $749,872 to help unemployed people find forestry jobs through a paid training opportunity with Okanagan College.
The funding will give up to 16 people in Revelstoke and the Shuswap areas 16 weeks of paid training in the forestry sector and 10 weeks of on-the-job work experience with local forest operators to prepare them for full-time employment. Once the participants have completed the training, they will be better suited to find full-time work in the industry. The project is being carried out in two groups of eight Employment Insurance-eligible participants.
Under the guidance of Okanagan College, participants in the project will be trained in areas such as tree falling, machine work, forestry technology, and risk management, as well as personal employment attributes including conflict resolution, interviewing and job search skills. The project is part of the BC Skills for Jobs Blueprint, which is putting British Columbians first in line for the nearly one million job openings expected by 2025.
During their 10-week job placement, participants will gain hands-on experience in various forestry trades to gain first-hand knowledge of working in the industry.
In a 2015 labour market survey of Revelstoke funded by the Province, forestry employers showed a need for trained workers to step into open positions. This project will help employers fill those jobs. Local employers have partnered to provide job-placement opportunities, such as Sk’atsin Resources, Schiller Contracting, Adams Lake Indian Band and Two Guys Logging.
Funding for the project is provided through the Project-Based Labour Market Training stream, of the Employment Program of British Columbia’s Community and Employer Partnerships program, which funds 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.
To date, more than 1,500 job seekers benefited from work experience and more than 270 projects have been funded throughout the province.
Job training 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.
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –
“Project-Based Labour Market Training is all about giving EI-eligible British Columbians a chance to learn new skills and gain on-the-job work experience that they can put on their resume and use in the search for full-time employment. That’s exactly why we’re funding this project – to help a group of people gain the skills they need to find jobs, and I’m confident we’ll see great results because of it.”
Greg Kyllo, MLA for Shuswap and Parliamentary Secretary for the BC Jobs Plan –
“Our government is continuing to build partnerships with area organizations to benefit employment in Shuswap communities. This is a unique opportunity for a group of people to learn new skills in forestry and then be able to put them to work in a real-world environment, and I’m sure it will pay dividends in their lives once the project is complete. Forestry is an industry that brings great opportunities for people to build their careers through knowledge and hard work, and I’m excited to know the future is bright for the industry and for the participants in this project.”
Todd Stone, MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson and Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure –
“This is a great opportunity for local people to gain new skills, which will help them find work in the forestry sector through hands-on experience. I’m happy that our government has been able to partner with Okanagan College to put this project together, as well as local employers to offer job-placement opportunities that we hope will pay off for both sides down the road.”
Jim Hamilton, president, Okanagan College –
“This program is a great example of what can happen when government partners with community members, employers and post-secondary providers to meet the specific needs of our regional economy. The students are learning valuable skills they will be able to transfer to employment opportunities well into the future.”
Brad Bennett, woodlands manager, Interfor –
“Ensuring we have a well-trained workforce in the forestry industry is critical to the future success of our region. We have an aging workforce and funding for this kind of training will create access for our partners in First Nation communities to safely learn the skills they need to enter into these jobs.”
- Forestry directly contributed $5.5 billion to B.C.’s economy in 2015, and employed nearly 60,000 people in 2016.
- $204 million in forestry revenues has been shared with 154 B.C. First Nations since 2011.
- There are more than 7,000 forest sector businesses in B.C.
- Average weekly earnings in the forest sector are $1,226 – a 9% increase since 2011.
- Demand for forestry employees in southeast BC is expected to grow by 3% annually until 2025.
- Local WorkBC Employment Services Centres play a lead role in connecting eligible job seekers to Job Creation Partnership and Project Based Labour Market Training opportunities in their communities. Once the right match of client to project has been found, the effort of the WorkBC Centre continues by providing financial supports and services to ensure success.
- 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
To learn more about forestry in B.C.: http://ow.ly/vfLE309Wl6f
For more information about the BC Rural Economic Development Strategy: https://bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca/b-c-s-rural-economic-development-strategy/
To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/
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