Skills-training Program in B.C. Aims to Curtail a Coming Jobs Crisis

Convergence of aging demographic and new opportunities for growth needs needs to be addressed.

By Justine Hunter, The Globe and Mail

Within the next two years, the B.C. work force will undergo an invisible shift, when the pool of younger workers becomes smaller than the number of aging workers who have their eye on retirement.

If the labour analysts are correct, 2016 is the point when the real trouble starts. There are regions of the province where recruitment and retention is a challenge now – but just wait until the retirement-aged segment of the work force outnumbers new entrants.

B.C. Jobs Minister Shirley Bond recently came across this detail in her campaign to retool her government’s skills-training programs. The skills-training blueprint launched this spring was written in response to the potential choke-point for a new liquefied natural gas industry, as investors worry that B.C. won’t be able to supply enough workers to build proposed LNG plants and related infrastructure.

“Here’s the challenge: We have a convergence of an aging demographic and new opportunities for growth,” Ms. Bond said in an interview.

Over the next 10 weeks, The Globe and Mail will look at the top-ranked skilled jobs that the province expects will be most in demand. It is a wide-ranging list, from early childhood educators to truck drivers, and the figures will likely shift over time as new opportunities develop, or drop off.

Read more here.

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