New B.C. plan helps people get skills for in-demand jobs

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The provincial government’s new StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan will help thousands of people get the skills they need to succeed in the changing economy and help close the skills gap many businesses are facing.

The action plan is focused on five pillars:

making post-secondary education more affordable, accessible and relevant to British Columbians;

helping people reskill to find in-demand jobs so more employers facing current and future skills shortages can find the people they need;

breaking down barriers so everyone can find a job where they can thrive;

addressing Indigenous Peoples’ workforce priorities; and

ensuring people new to B.C. find a career in the field in which they are trained.

The $480-million action plan is highlighted by a future skills grant of up to $3,500. This grant will cover the cost of training for in-demand jobs.

Beginning in September 2023, the grant will be available to British Columbians, making it easier for people to select from more than 400 eligible training opportunities at post-secondary institutions throughout B.C. for the most in-demand jobs in areas such as construction, tech, housing and clean energy.

For employers, this means some 8,500 newly trained people over the next three years will become skilled and ready to fill positions and address the skills gap.

The province is also introducing rapid response training, which will support delivery of short-term training that responds quickly to labour market needs and the evolving economy.

In addition, government is establishing TradeUpBC, a continuing education hub for in-demand jobs in the trades. Programs will target certified or experienced workers and will provide valuable skills that complement but do not replace apprentice training. Over three years, it’s estimated that up to 6,000 people will benefit from short-term training and TradeUpBC.

In addition, the plan includes measures that will break down barriers to help people enter the workforce and increase the number of students with job-ready skills needed for the tech-related and engineering workforce, early childhood education services, health-care professions, veterinary professions, teachers, construction jobs and other key sectors.

Future Ready will also help employers recruit and retain employees to expand and grow.