The Province and the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce are teaming up to find new ways to expand the manufacturing industry in the Kootenays.
The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation is providing the chamber with $27,500 for a labour market study that will identify skills gaps and training needs facing local employers in the manufacturing sector, and a strategy to address those needs and hire skilled employees to grow their businesses.
The provincial funding will be used to hire a consultant, who will create a report based on at least 10 interviews and 30 online surveys of manufacturers in Nelson, Castlegar, Balfour, Ainsworth, Kaslo and Meadow Creek, and by exploring training opportunities inside and outside of the region.
The consultant will work with a stakeholder advisory committee including, but not limited to, representatives from the Nelson Chamber of Commerce, the Castlegar Chamber of Commerce, Pacific Insight Electronics, Spearhead, Zellstoff Celgar, Lillie and Cohoe, and the Kootenay Career Development Society.
Once the study is complete, Kootenay-area manufacturing employers will have more knowledge of how to attract and retain workers, and help grow the local economy. The study is expected to be complete in August 2017.
Labour market studies are one of the key ways the B.C. government is taking action to strengthen, grow and diversify rural communities. They build 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 a component of the Employment Program of BC’s Community and Employer Partnerships fund for projects that share labour market information and increase employability throughout the province.
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. It helps 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 continuing to make investments to increase the opportunities British Columbians have to find jobs. This labour market study will go a long way in giving employers a strategy they can use to attract more employees and help them get the training they need to become part of B.C.’s diverse, strong and growing economy.”
Tom Thomson, executive director, Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce –
“The Labour Market Partnership should provide some solid research to identify local skills shortages in the manufacturing sector, determine current training needs of the region’s manufacturers, as well as the availability and quality of training that is utilized by the local manufacturing sector especially as it relates to competitiveness and productivity.”
- 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
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/