After helping more than 1,000 forestry workers transition to retirement, the Bridging to Retirement Program is coming to a close.
The job placement program will continue to support affected forestry workers through an online platform and three Interior offices.
Initiated in 2019, the Bridging to Retirement Program has been a high-demand, crucial support for displaced forestry workers in the Interior and Coast regions. The program has enabled employers to engage with their workers to support early retirement, while creating jobs for younger workers.
In addition to the retirement program, funding has been provided to assist forestry workers with accessing government services, training and job placements. The program will continue to support workers affected by the impacts of extreme wildfire seasons, labour shortages and the pandemic until the end of March 2022.
For several years, the Interior forest industry has been hard hit by wildfires and the mountain pine beetle. The Province’s actions, combined with rising lumber prices and an increasing global demand for softwood and pulp products, are contributing to the industry’s recovery. Over the past year, 41 closed or curtailed mills have resumed operations, bringing almost 7,500 people back to work.
Supports for forestry workers: https://forestryworkersupport.gov.bc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.