CRANBROOK - Representatives from industry, economic development organizations, Aboriginal communities, post-secondary institutions, local employers, labour and others participated in a Regional Workforce Table Open House Forum today in B.C.'s Kootenay region.
Those in attendance got a snapshot of the workforce training opportunities and challenges facing the area, and discussed how a Regional Workforce Table, a key commitment identified in the BC Jobs Plan, could help align skills training programs with labour market needs in the region.
This event builds on two previous open houses that were held in B.C.'s northwest and northeast regions, where Regional Workforce Tables have now been established. A number of key themes emerged from the discussions at those sessions, including:
- Ensuring there is strong collaboration between employers, educators and industry when developing skills training programs across B.C.'s regions.
- Focusing skills training programs and labour market initiatives on people already living in the regions.
- Expanding on existing workforce planning and economic development initiatives.
Morning presentations provided participants with a snapshot of the labour market in B.C.'s Kootenay development region, details on labour market programs and services and community and industry perspectives on regional training needs and employment opportunities. The afternoon session was devoted to roundtable discussions with participants and open dialogue on opportunities for a Regional Workforce Table in the Kootenays.
The Open House Forum was held at the College of the Rockies' Cranbrook campus.
Bill Bennett, MLA, Kootenay East -
"The Regional Workforce Tables are an exciting new platform for people to come together to ensure that the training and labour market programs offered by educators and others in the region are well-matched with local job opportunities. That's why I'm so happy to see this open house taking place in the Kootenays."
"This initiative couldn't have come at a better time, as businesses and industry look to fill the many skilled labour positions that will be opening up over the next decade."
Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of Advanced Education -
"I'd like to thank everyone who took part in today's Open House Forum. Your input allows communities to influence the development of a local approach to skills and job training. You will help ensure that the significant investments taxpayers are making in post-secondary education and training are being directed to programs that are giving students the skills they need to fill high demand jobs in your region."
Dr. Nicholas Rubidge, president and CEO, College of the Rockies -
"I'd like to thank the provincial government for the opportunity to hold today's open house at College of the Rockies. Working together with local stakeholders to develop skills training programs is something colleges in the Kootenay region already do very well, and we see this as an opportunity to build on those relationships to serve our region even better."
The B.C. Jobs Plan www.bcjobsplan.ca
Regional Workforce Tables: www.jti.gov.bc.ca/regionalworkforcetables/
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation