Investment capitalizes on big opportunities for people in building trades
April is Construction and Skilled Trades Month and the Province is raising awareness about the job opportunities for people in the building trades, with 83,000 new job openings expected over the next decade.
“There’s a world of rewarding career opportunities for people in skilled trades right now,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. “We’re investing in training programs through SkilledTradesBC to offer people the education and training they need to pursue these jobs, while helping industry and employers to access the skilled workforce they need. This supports our Future Ready plan, which is helping train British Columbians for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”
Proclaiming April as Construction and Skilled Trades Month highlights the importance of people who work in construction and trades and help make, build and maintain local communities and the province. Construction and skilled trades jobs are in demand and government is investing in trades education and support for workers in the skilled trades.
“Our members work hard every day to build this province. We’re proud to see them and all workers recognized with Construction and Skilled Trades Month,” said Brynn Bourke, executive director, BC Building Trades. “Our union training schools are the top trainers of apprentices in the province and we hope more people join us in choosing a rewarding career in the skilled trades.”
SkilledTradesBC delivers pre-apprenticeship trades training programs, including for women, Indigenous Peoples and other equity-seeking groups, to reduce barriers and help people secure employment in the trades. The programs provide individualized and group services and supports, hands-on trades exploration training, and industry certification training. These programs help increase opportunities to enter an apprenticeship training program and earn certification to become a journeyperson.
The Province continues to work with employers, industry, training providers and communities to design and implement programs and policies that contribute to eliminating racism, sexism, bullying and harassment in the skilled trades.
“Investments we’ve made into education and training are helping people get the skills they need to pursue rewarding careers in skilled trades,” said Andrew Mercier, Minister of State for Workforce Development. “By increasing training and work experience opportunities, we are making sure people have the skills to secure good-paying jobs in skilled trades.”
Since 2017, the Province has provided more than $105 million annually to SkilledTradesBC to support an inclusive, world-class training and apprenticeship system that meets the needs of British Columbia’s economy. The Community Workforce Response Grant also provides funding for communities, sectors and organizations to deliver trades-related training according to community-identified needs, allowing more training to take place in rural and remote areas.
The B.C. Employer Training Grant provides employers throughout B.C. with skills-training funding for their workforces, including prospective new hires. The grant funding helps employers respond to their changing labour needs and helps develop a skilled workforce with the right mix of skills. In turn, this helps British Columbians access the skills training needed to succeed in the labour market, while increasing job security and supporting career advancement.
“There are limitless opportunities in construction for talented British Columbians looking for a rewarding career path,” said Chris Atchison, president, BC Construction Association. “There are many trades to choose from, most of them are in demand, you get paid to train and learn, and with dedication and hard work there’s nothing stopping you from going right to the top, even owning your own company one day. It all starts with apprenticeship.”
Budget 2023 will invest $480 million over three years to support Future Ready’s plan to break down barriers to post-secondary training. This means more people can get the training they need for in-demand careers and employers can access the talent they need, including in the construction sector and skilled trades.
To view the provincial proclamation for Construction and Skilled Trades Month, visit: https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/proclamations/proclamations/ConstructionSkilledTradesMth2023
For career search and education planning information, visit: https://www.workbc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.