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For Immediate Release

April 18, 2012

Ministry of Advanced Education



$10 million helps students get skills for today’s jobs


ABBOTSFORD – Students across British Columbia will have new opportunities for skills training, thanks to $10 million in one-time funding being provided to 16 B.C. public post-secondary institutions to prepare workers for jobs in their regions.


Advanced Education Minister Naomi Yamamoto made the announcement at the 18th annual BC Skills Competition in Abbotsford, where approximately 400 secondary, post-secondary and apprenticeship students demonstrated their developing skills as future welders, carpenters and other exciting careers.


The funding, made available through the Canada – British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement, will go toward short-term training determined on an institution-to-institution basis to ensure it meets local training needs. Possible examples of training include an introduction to trades, heavy equipment operation, professional truck driving, road building, commercial transport vehicle mechanic, diesel engine mechanic or industrial electrician.


Over the next decade, British Columbia is projected to have over one million job openings. The BC Jobs Plan will ensure the over $500 million provided annually for labour market and training programs is targeted to meeting regional and industry labour market needs.




Minister of Advanced Education Naomi Yamamoto –


“The funding we’re announcing is helping to train-up workers for the current job market. It’s another key step in the BC Jobs Plan to deliver the right mix of workers, with the right skills in the right regions, to meet local labour demands. The students you see competing here today are our future welders, carpenters, automotive repair and IT people – they’re among our province’s best and are no doubt well on their way to rewarding careers.”


Minster of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell –


“Through the BC Jobs Plan, we are working to meet the skills gap, connecting workers with job opportunities and training British Columbians for those job openings. This funding is another example of how our government is being flexible and responsive to offer training that helps address regional labour market needs.”


Facts on training in B.C.:


·         Government invests over $100 million annually in industry training through the Industry Training Authority (ITA) – the provincial Crown agency responsible for overseeing B.C.’s industry training and apprenticeship system. This investment is almost $33 million (or 45 per cent) higher than it was in 2004 when the ITA was established.

·         B.C. also invests approximately $66 million a year – between 2008 and 2014 – in services that help people get the skills they need to fill job opportunities in regions where they live and study. These services are funded through the Canada-BC Labour Market Agreement.

·         The Province has created Regional Workforce Tables, which bring people together to discuss how to best align training programs to meet regional needs. Representation on the tables include key leaders from industry, labour, employers, First Nations, educators, training service providers, economic development organizations and others. Work is already underway on this initiative in the Northwest and Northeast.

·         Government is investing $1.9 billion to support post-secondary education this year.

·         Over 50,000 credentials—certificates, diplomas and degrees—are awarded by the public post-secondary system each year.

·         Since 2001, the provincial government has provided over $2.6 billion in student financial assistance.


Facts on the BC Skills Competition in Abbotsford:


·         From automotive repair to carpentry to robotics, students competed in 40 trade and technology contests in an Olympic-style event.

·         Competitors put their skills in math and science to the test, as well as challenge their problem-solving, teamwork and creative thinking skills.

·         The provincial competition also includes five events for middle school students.

·         Students who win “gold” at the provincial competition represent British Columbia in their contest area at the Skills Canada National Competition in Alberta in May.

·         B.C. will host the National Competition in 2013.


Learn More –


·         For information on ‘Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan’:

·         For information on Skills Canada BC:



Media Contact:


Joanne Whittier

Communications Manager

Ministry of Advanced Education

250 952-6400



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