BC Government consults construction industry about access to labour

The BC open shop construction industry recently gathered to discuss access to skilled labour at a Construction Industry roundtable hosted by ICBA.

shirley bond at CIR

Minister Shirley Bond kicked off the roundtable and discussed that the government and the ICBA will continue to work together to address BC’s demand for labour.

The event featured three panelists from various government agencies who provided an overview of BC’s present and future economy, and discussed various existing and new programs that will address the coming labour shortage. These programs included: Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Program, and the Canada-BC Jobs Grant, as well as a discussion on a new labour market outlook report. The interactive session provided attendees with an opportunity to discuss their current challenges with existing programs.

ICBA will keep you informed for updates, changes and new programs that will help address future access to labour.

If you would like to receive a copy of the presentation, please email us at info@icba.ca. This was the largest and most-attended Construction Industry roundtable to date. Located at the Burnaby Delta Hotel, the event brought together industry professionals and government officials together to discuss and listen to the issues affecting construction in BC.

New Express Entry program aims to find skilled international workers

dean j at CIRAt the roundtable, the federal government profiled its new program aimed to attract permanent immigration. Express Entry allows employers to find skilled international workers who desire to live in Canada permanently, as opposed to a temporary foreign worker.

Express Entry program allows government officials to invite international workers with the highest chance of success to immigrate to Canada. Express Entry, now fully electronic, requires the candidate to create a profile online that scores them based on skills and language proficiency, among other categories. Individuals with the highest scores are invited to apply to Canada through Express Entry.

Employers unable to fill vacancies with BC citizens or Canadians may offer the job to a foreign worker through their own recruitment or through the government Job Bank. An employer can offer the international worker a job offer; however, the offer must be in writing, and for continuously paid, full time work that is permanent (not seasonal).
For more information in connecting with skilled international workers and for rules and restrictions, visit their website or download their information package.

The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)

BC is on the cusp of significant economic growth, but this growth will require qualified workers and entrepreneurs. erin seeley cirThe representative from the provincial government, Erin Seeley, discussed PNP and how the BC ministry of jobs is trying to simplify the process for employers and workers to navigate the system. Seeley discussed the impact immigration has in helping BC meet the future labour market shortages.

This program offers accelerated immigration for high-impact workers that will contribute to BC’s economy and also intend to live permanently in BC. In 2014, 20% of BC’s new immigrants came through the program, and since the program began in 2001, more than 28,000 workers and entrepreneurs have been attracted to the province.
For more information regarding the BC PNP program, visit their website. To learn about the employer requirements for accessing the program, click here.

Trades ranked 4th for job openings in 2024, study suggests

Scott MacDonald discussed the BC Labour Market Outlook 2024, a data-driven tool for the construction industry to determine labour market demand and supply trends in 2024.
The study suggests steady economic growth in the province for the next 10 years with 935,000 job openings in every region and economic sector.

Trades, transports and equipment operators were ranked in the top four for job openings over the next ten years. Job openings due to retirements and economic growth remain unchanged at 68% and 32% respectively from the previous 2022 Outlook. Employment growth is projected to be 1.2%, which is consistent with forecasts from the Ministry of Finance and BC Stats.

labour market outlook 2024

There will be nearly one million job openings in British Columbia over the next decade, and most of these openings will require post-secondary training. Approximately 42% of job openings will require college education or apprenticeship training, 36% will require university and/or significant work experience and 18% will require high school and/or occupation-specific training.

Government initiatives, such as the Skills for Jobs Blueprint, will provide 7.6 billion dollars for education and training of youth – elementary through high school – to provide hands-on experience to prepare for the workforce or post-secondary training.
Access the report on the Work BC website and download the forecast data at DataBC.


Canada-BC Job Grant opens for new applications

Another new program that is assisting employers train and retain staff is from the Canada Job Grant (CJG), which is now accepting applications. The grant provides direct financial support to employers who want to train current or future employees. This program operates on a cost-sharing model where the employer contributes one third of the training costs, and the government covers the rest (up to a maximum $10,000). The Canada-BC Job Grant’s goal is to increase the number of British Columbians entering the labour force and to develop the skills to find and keep a job.

job grant CIREmployers in the construction sector interested in applying to the Canada-BC Job Grant can apply via WorkBC but should first review the terms, conditions, and requirements checklist provided. View the CJG Fact Sheet, Criteria, and Checklist prior to submitting an application. To learn more about the program, click here.

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