B.C. confirms investment in Northwest skills training
B.C. Premier Christy Clark has announced a $465,000 investment for training opportunities in Northwest B.C. through Northwest Community College.
"The most positive thing we can do to ensure continued prosperity in the Northwest is to make sure our training opportunities match industry needs," Clark said. "I’m delighted that this investment in regionally targeted skills training will help strengthen those linkages and give students and current and future employers the opportunities they need to fill the jobs that are available today and help generate the jobs that will make this region flourish and grow for years to come."
The funding, which comes through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement, is part of a province-wide $7-million, one-time funding investment that will allow the individual institutions to target specific short-term training that is needed to meet the labour market needs of the Northwest.
"A key part of planning for future labour market needs is to make the right connections between government, industry and institutions so they can work together to identify and deliver training that matches labour market needs," said Ralph Sultan, B.C. Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology. "This funding will help provide targeted training and give students in the Northwest access to specialist expertise that will provide them with strong, marketable skills that are in demand in their own part of the province."
"We thank the government for investing in our students and our communities," said Denise Henning, president and CEO of Northwest Community College. "These dollars help Northwest Community College ensure northerners are stepping into economies in this region with skills that are relevant and responsive to industry needs."
This investment will also support short-term training that aligns with the outcomes from the Northwest Regional Workforce Table and the short-term training related to the activities of B.C.’s Centres of Training Excellence.
The establishment of a Northwest Regional Workforce Tables is a key commitment for the region under the BC Jobs Plan. It has successfully brought together regional knowledge and expertise to determine how to effectively align regional training to meet local employment opportunities and ensure residents in the Northwest have access to training and job opportunities in their home communities.
There are currently two B.C. Centres of Training Excellence that were set up under the BC Skills and Training plan. These involve multiple partners and focus on mining and oil and gas. Northwest Community College is the lead partner in the Mining Centre of Training Excellence and aims to provide a central point of contact within the post-secondary system to draw on expertise across the system to support training in the resource sectors.
Under the BC Jobs Plan and BC Skills and Training Plan, government is actively working ensure that British Columbians have the skills they need to be first in line for jobs in the province through an investment of $75 million for new capital and equipment to complement $500 million in annual investments in employment and skills training programs.