B.C.-Canada partnership lays a strong foundation for labour force development

OTTAWA, Feb. 4, 2016 /CNW/ - Department of Employment and Social Development (Canada)
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training  and Responsible for Labour (British Columbia)

Statement from the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour.

Today, as part of the Canada–British Columbia Jobs Roundtable, we met with industry, labour and Indigenous community representatives to discuss how we can work together to ensure Canadians and British Columbians have access to the skills and training they need to succeed in B.C.'s labour market.

Canada, including B.C., is blessed with a richly diverse economy, which has evolved into a mix of traditional and new sectors, from forestry, minerals and the emerging liquefied natural gas export sector, to manufacturing, agrifood and seafood production, technology, creative sectors and tourism.

We will continue efforts to develop and attract skilled labour to British Columbia's emerging energy export industry which has the potential to generate billions of dollars of investment, create thousands of jobs and strengthen Canada's global reputation as an energy leader.

Canada and B.C. will work with employers, unions, communities, Indigenous people, the education and training sector, domestic and international partners, to address barriers to labour market participation. Canada and B.C. will also look for ways to address barriers faced by youth and Indigenous people in B.C. and will encourage more employers to participate and invest in skills training.

Additional areas of discussion included ways Canada and B.C. can work together to: 

  • Increase education, training and job opportunities for Indigenous people;
  • Enhance youth employment strategies to help young people find and keep good jobs;
  • Increase skills training and job opportunities for other groups under-represented in the labour market, particularly persons with disabilities and women in in-demand jobs;
  • Gather the best possible labour market data to better track job needs of B.C.'s economy;
  • Work towards increased coordination of labour market programs and training service delivery;
  • Ensure training investments are more responsive to employers' needs; and
  • Work with the Forum of Labour Market Ministers to improve labour mobility and credential recognition for skilled workers.

B.C. is expecting almost one million job openings in the next decade. Many sectors in British Columbia face a near and medium-term shortage of skilled labour. We are committed to providing Canadians with the skills and tools so that they are first in line for job opportunities within British Columbia's diverse economy. Working together to invest in training will help both economies grow, strengthen the middle class and help those working hard to join it.

Throughout B.C. and other regions in Canada, we have heard from sector stakeholders and industry partners the critical importance of labour demand and supply. We will continue to work together to support workforce development in B.C. and Canada, and we look forward to the positive impact this will have on our economic future.


SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Media Relations, Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour, 250-387-2799; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

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