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B.C. Launches Labour Strategy To Meet Skills Shortages

by NationTalk on April 27, 2007684 Views

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2007ECD0021-000529
April 27, 2007

Ministry of Economic Development

VANCOUVER – Economic Development Minister Colin Hansen was joined by several well-known British Columbians today to launch WorkBC, an innovative new labour market strategy to ensure the Province’s success in meeting key economic priorities and advancing B.C.’s global economic competitiveness.

“Increasing the size of B.C.’s workforce and enhancing productivity are vital to keep our province thriving,” said Hansen. “We are honoured to have successful and proud British Columbians join us in our efforts to help B.C. employers find the skilled workers they need.”The WorkBC initiative includes an action plan that sets out provincial priorities and steps for how government, working with business and industry, will address skills shortages for the next five years and respond to longer-term labour market challenges. The action plan recognizes B.C.’s proximity to Asia, and addresses each of the following five strategic areas:

1. Keep the workforce we have;
2. Develop the skills of the existing workforce;
3. Increase Aboriginal participation and labour market success;
4. Find and attract more workers to B.C.; and
5. Address regional skills shortages.

“One of the challenges presented by B.C.’s thriving economy is the demand by employers across the province for skilled workers to keep their businesses growing,” said Hansen. “The work government is already supporting through programs such as PNP, Skills Connect and the Industry Training Authority forms the foundation of the WorkBC action plan.”

Hansen also unveiled two components of the first phase of the action plan, the WorkBC website and the ‘B.C. is Calling’ recruitment campaign.

The website, www.WorkBC.ca, which has also been translated into Traditional Chinese, is a multi-faceted, information tool to aid job seekers and employers. It includes useful tips for individuals looking for work and information about certification and licensing in B.C. The site also provides tips for employers on how to attract staff and showcases existing job opportunities within the province.

To launch the campaign, Hansen was joined by Chip Wilson, owner and founder of lululemon athletica and Karimah Es Sabar, President, LifeSciences British Columbia. The campaign features photos and recordings from well-known B.C. business people delivering the message that B.C. is a great place to live and work.

“British Columbia has been able to create an environment for exponential economic growth through our government and the entrepreneurial spirit of our province’s people,” said Chip Wilson, owner and founder of lululemon athletica. “By continuing to create wealth in B.C., we will have the financial means required to preserve the beauty and natural resources of our province. All we need is the willingness of more people to participate.”

‘BC is Calling’ print and radio ads will run for two weeks provincewide. All the ads direct people to the website where people can send e-cards or voice mail messages, also featuring well-known British Columbians, to someone they know inviting them to move to B.C.

Over the upcoming months, more tools and resources will be added to WorkBC.ca. The enhancements include an employer’s tool kit on human resource issues, a parent’s guide to career development and a meta-job search function, which will transform WorkBC.ca into a virtual job marketplace for B.C. employers and individuals interested in working in B.C. The site will also be translated into other languages such as Simplified Chinese, Punjabi, Japanese, Korean, Italian, French, Spanish and German.

To try some of the unique web features, or for more information on the WorkBC action plan, go to the WorkBC website at www.WorkBC.ca, or the B.C. is Calling site at www.bciscalling.ca

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To download audio, video and print materials from the campaign, visit www.mediaroom.gov.bc.ca/

1 Backgrounder attached.

Media contact:

Rena-Kendall Craden
Communications Director
250 952-0152
250 361-5775 (cell)

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