By Shirley Bond
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
and Minister Responsible for Labour
Our government has a plan - a plan to keep our economy growing and our province strong. Over the past year we’ve made progress implementing that plan - and achieving some of its goals.
We have already seen significant growth in several sectors, from natural resource development to tourism, small business and skills training. We aren’t stopping there; growth is projected to continue and, as a province we need to be ready with a skilled workforce in place, to build and operate future projects.
B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint is a comprehensive plan to adapt B.C.’s education and training system to align with labour market needs, at the right time and in the right place. With nearly one million jobs expected by 2022 through retirements and new job creation, it's clear we must move quickly to make sure British Columbians are first in line for these opportunities.
There’s also tremendous growth in the small business sector. That’s why in October, B.C., in partnership with the federal government, announced the launch of the Canada Job Grant. The Canada Job Grant is designed to be flexible enough to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, in all industries and regions. The Canada Job Grant will result in training that leads to guaranteed jobs for British Columbians.
British Columbia has an unprecedented opportunity to create jobs and economic growth through the development of a liquefied natural gas export industry. LNG will create jobs all over the province - thousands of new long-term professions for British Columbians. The registry and tool at LNGBuyBC.ca was launched in November so companies large and small can be ready to profile their goods and services to proponents and their contractors when the first Final Investment Decision is reached
In September, we released the BC Jobs Plan 3-Year Progress Update with a renewed focus on strategic priorities to grow the economy and create long-term, well-paying jobs that strengthen families and communities. The Jobs Plan strengthens B.C.’s unique competitive advantages and sets targets to attract new investment and economic growth, which support job creation across eight sectors.
As you can see, 2014 has been a productive year, but our work is not finished. As we move into 2015, we have lots of work ahead of us. I’m confident that as a province we are on the right track for a prosperous year ahead for families in British Columbia.