To ensure B.C. students graduate with the skills, competencies and confidence needed to succeed in post-secondary education and the workforce, the Province is hosting a careers summit to hear valuable input from employers, education partners, post-secondary institutions and students.
“All students deserve to graduate with the know-how to plan and build successful futures for themselves, but some kids are telling us they do not feel prepared to enter post-secondary school or the workforce,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “With a rapidly changing labour market and abundant job opportunities, it’s critical we do everything possible to equip students with the creative, analytical, entrepreneurial and communication skills that employers and post-secondary institutions are looking for.”
Today’s summit will take place at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. It will bring together more than 120 education partners, post-secondary institutions, unions and employers from a variety of fields, including the tech sector, construction, mining, finance, health care and the scientific community to discuss how to ensure secondary school students graduate with the right work experience and skills needed to have the best chance of future success.
The summit will also look at ways to improve and expand dual credit programs so high school students can gain post-secondary, apprenticeship or training credits and credentials while they’re still in secondary school. Student delegates will be on hand to provide feedback about their own experiences with dual credit and work placement programs.
“Our government is working hard to create pathways to post-secondary education and trades training for every young person in B.C.,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “The future of our province looks bright with endless possibilities for 21st–century jobs, and we need to support students to cross the finish line. We’re relying on the next generation of trained professionals and skilled leaders as we continue to build the best B.C.”
The careers summit is just a first step. Input from the summit will help inform an expanded career strategy to be launched this fall, building on the work the ministry has done through the new curriculum to sharpen the focus on career preparation and help ease students’ transition from high school.
“Giving kids the opportunity to get a head start on their careers with on-the-job experience is incredibly valuable,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trades and Technology. “B.C. has the lowest unemployment rate in the country, and we want to make sure all graduating students have an equal opportunity to explore different career paths and build a prosperous future for themselves.”
In the 2019-20 school year, students will benefit from a new graduation program that encourages them to take ownership of their own learning and personal growth. The new graduation program includes a range of new course options in areas such as environmental science, web development, digital media, engineering and robotics. Two additional new career-development courses will feature more hands-on, real-world learning. This expanded career strategy will give students even more opportunities to gain relevant experience outside of the classroom and increase pathways to successful careers.
Laird Cronk, president, BC Federation of Labour –
“B.C. secondary students are the workforce of tomorrow. We want them to take ownership of their huge potential for personal and professional growth, developing their skills, aptitude and attitude toward the world of work through apprenticeships, trades training or post-secondary education. The BC Federation of Labour welcomes government’s strategy to focus on career preparation and developing pathways in partnership with industry, labour and the post-secondary sector to help ease students’ transition from high school.”
Val Litwin, CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce –
“The youth in B.C. schools today will be the brains behind our economic future. We have to get them ready now. Government is taking the right approach here by bringing together the full spectrum of stakeholders to ensure we get an A+ on this file.”
Jill Tipping, CEO, BC Tech Association –
“With 6,000 job openings each year, B.C.'s tech and innovation sector is full of rewarding, dynamic career opportunities. We need creative, collaborative problem solvers who are passionate about making a difference in the world – and we need lots of them. That's why we're committed to helping educators connect young people with the skills, jobs and career pathways of the future.”
- The 2018 Labour Market Survey forecasts 77% of job openings between 2018 and 2028 will require post-secondary education.
- The survey found that active listening, social perceptiveness, judgement and decision-making were important or very important competencies for projected job openings.
- In April 2019, the unemployment rate in B.C. for those aged 15 years and older was 4.6%.
- Each year, approximately 44,000 school-aged students graduate with a Dogwood diploma and 3,000 adult students graduate with an Adult Dogwood diploma.
- In 2017-18, the provincial six-year secondary school completion rate was 84.8%.
Learn more about B.C.’s redesigned curriculum and graduation program:
Read the new graduation program news release: