Employers tapped to guide education policy

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Employers will get direct input into the B.C. government’s new education strategy to ensure it meets the needs of organizations.
 
The statement follows the news that the federal government’s labour market statistics were inaccurate because it included data from websites such as Kijiji. The new numbers indicate a job vacancy rate of 1.5%, down from 4%.
 
B.C. labour minister Shirley Bond said the provincial government wanted to avoid any confusion by relying on its own figures, which will play a crucial role in determining where education resources are targeted.
 
“We are going to have our own database in British Columbia for the projects that are developed here in our province,” Ms. Bond said.
 
The office is mapping labour needs around the province, including proposed natural resource projects in the north to forecast which trades will be most in demand in each of the next 10 years. Its 10-year plan for its education and apprenticeship system aims to meet the anticipated labour needs for those projects.
 
“I have a great deal of confidence we are in a much better position than we used to be in terms of labour market data,” Ms. Bond said. “If you take a sector like liquefied natural gas, we are spending a great deal of time and energy making sure our numbers are accurate. I’m not going to speak to Canada’s data.”
 
Ms. Bond said the point of the education changes is to ensure that British Columbians have the skills to capture the construction jobs that are expected to peak in the next five years. But she said workers from the rest of Canada and from abroad will still be needed.
 
“There will be periods of time in our province with economic development where [temporary foreign workers] are necessary.”
 
What skill shortages do you expect your industry to see in the next five to 10 years?
 

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