Over $400,000 in skills training for manufacturing sector

Economy Saturday, November 24, 2012 10:30 AM

VANCOUVER - The B.C. government is investing $429,935 to provide Essential Skills (ES) training to 125 people through a partnership with the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME), announced Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell at yesterday's 30th Annual Export Awards.

The funding will allow five to 10 manufacturing companies in the Lower Mainland to provide training to workers with low literacy, to help upgrade their oral communication and literacy skills, including reading, writing, numeracy and document use. This training will help participants be more efficient, contribute fully to their workplace and help them retain work in their chosen fields. The project is funded under the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement (LMA) and runs through to October 2013.

The training builds on several successful essential skills projects delivered by the CME under the LMA-funded SkillsPlus program. This ES training involves:

  • Pre-assessments of participants to determine eligibility.
  • Customization of the core curriculum developed under SkillsPlus for each participating company.
  • Training delivery and follow up.

The B.C. government and the CME also partnered to deliver the annual Export Awards. At yesterday's gala in Vancouver, Bell presented 10 companies with awards for their contributions to the province's export and manufacturing industry.

Viking Air won both the Exporter of the Year Award and the first-ever Premier's Award for Job Creation. The Sidney-based aviation company exports its products to 18 countries around the globe and has seen its workforce grow by 380 per cent over the past two years.

The full list of award winners is included below in a backgrounder.


Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell -

"Yesterday at the Export Awards we celebrated successful businesses that have found new markets for their goods and services and created jobs for British Columbians. Our government is committed to ensuring that people have the skills they need for the jobs created here in B.C. and this investment in essential skills training will help support the manufacturing sector in building a stronger workforce."

Vice-president Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Peter Jeffrey -

"We are pleased to partner with the government of British Columbia to deliver training for our manufacturers that will assist in the upgrading of the oral communication and literacy skills of their employees."

"As the list of winners and nominated companies and individuals for the Export Awards clearly demonstrates, it is our province's expertise that allows B.C. to play a crucial role in global trade, which helps to provide British Columbians with the standard of living we currently enjoy."

Quick Facts:

  • The Lower Mainland accounts for nearly two-thirds of the total projected job openings in B.C. over the next decade. Of the 666,250 projected job openings in the region, 61 per cent result from the need to replace retiring workers.
  • The Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement (LMA) funds employment and skills development programs and services for employed people who are low-skilled and for unemployed individuals who are not eligible for Employment Insurance.
  • As a direct result of federal LMA funding, thousands of British Columbians are receiving training that will advance their careers, assist in securing new employment and ultimately improve the social and economic outcomes of individuals in B.C. and Canada.
  • As of October of this year, the LMA has provided training to over 28,000 individuals in the Lower Mainland since 2008.
  • The current agreement will expire on March 31, 2014, and B.C. is preparing to enter discussions with the federal government to renew this important agreement and ensure our province has the skilled workforce required to support long-term labour market needs and economic growth.
  • During the month of November, the B.C. government is asking for ideas from citizens on the topic of building a skilled workforce. You can contribute your ideas, comment or make a suggestion at: www.bcjobsplan.ca/

Learn More:

Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters: www.cme-mec.ca/

WorkBC skills training programs: www.workbc.ca/Education-Training/Programs/Pages/Employment-Programs.aspx

Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca

Industry Training Authority: www.itabc.ca

Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement information: www.jtst.gov.bc.ca/labourmarketagreement/

A backgrounder follows.


Media Relations
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour
250 356-8177


2012 BC Export Awards Winners

Advancing Technology and Innovation Award

Norsat International Inc. from Richmond is a leading provider of innovative communication solutions that enable the transmission of data, audio and video for challenging applications and environments: www.norsat.com

Consumer Products Award

Ironwood Clay Company from Richmond, the world's largest supplier of skin care products using natural oceanic clay. Ninety per cent of Ironwood's revenues come from the private-label, clay-based products it supplies to companies such as The Body Shop, Nu Skin and Avalon Organics: www.ironwoodclay.com

Sustainability Award

Cascadia Windows from Langley, an industry leader in the innovation and production of fibreglass construction products featuring the highest energy efficiency and durability on the market today: www.cascadiawindows.com

Manufactured Products Award

Nuheat Industries of Richmond is a manufacturer of North America's leading electric radiant floor heating system and the exclusive North American distributor of Fujikura heat trace cable: www.nuheat.com

Digital Media & Entertainment Award

Big Bad Boo Studios is a state-of-the-art animation studio based in Vancouver that produces culturally rich cartoons for children including Babak & Friends and Mixed Nutz (PBS): www.bigbadboo.ca

Professional Services Award

Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd. is a Vancouver-based global engineering and environmental services to the oil, mining, power, transportation, offshore and pipeline, and water resources sectors worldwide: www.klohn.com

Natural Resources Award

Tolko Industries of Vernon is a leading manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of forest products including lumber, unbleached kraft papers, panel products, co-products, biomass power, and a growing number of specialty wood products: www.tolko.com

New Exporter Award

Corvus Energy is a global supplier of energy solutions for industrial, commercial and environmental applications. The company provides high powered lithium ion batteries for heavy industrial operations: www.corvus-energy.com

Leadership Award

Ryan Holmes has grown HootSuite from a lean startup to a global leader in social media with 5 million users, including 79 of the Fortune 100 companies: www.hootsuite.com

International Business Studies Award

Cory Boles, originally from the University of Victoria and now a commerce student at the Sauder school of business at the University of British Columbia, has spearheaded an international case competition in Vancouver in March 2013.

Exporter of the Year Award

Premier's Award for Job Creation

Viking Air Limited of Sidney manufactures aerospace parts and components in support of the de Havilland legacy fleet of aircraft, and works closely with many BC post secondary institutions to develop aerospace engineering programs for prospective employees: www.vikingair.com


Media Relations
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour
250 356-8177

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