Training plan for northwest identifies gaps, offers action

Over the past six months the Northwest Regional Workforce Table has been consulting to better understand the opportunities.

Over the past six months the Northwest Regional Workforce Table has been consulting with industry, employers, First Nations, post-secondary institutions, training providers, labour and local government to better understand the opportunities and challenges facing the region as industry investment increases.

We gathered data, integrated a wide array of perspectives and are ready to provide some clear recommendations for filling skills gaps and supporting economic growth in the region.

As a result of this work, the Regional Skills Training Plan for the Northwest will soon be published to address specific needs for relevant skills that will allow the Northwest to take full advantage of economic opportunities here, while also laying out some powerful, collaborative solutions to overcome the challenges unique to our region.

Key factors shaping labour market reality in the Northwest include a skills gap between the current worker pool and upcoming job opportunities, barriers to full youth participation in the local labour market and the critical need for stronger collaboration between employers, training providers, government, institutions and learners. There are also some specific challenges around training availability in the region, including the need for more accessible training options, and gaps in the training that is offered for occupations expected to be most in demand in the Northwest over the coming decade.

Five goals we outline in the Plan include providing encouragement to high school students by presenting a bright economic future for the region, developing an industry liaison program for high schools, and expanding dual credit initiatives; helping workers upgrade skills to ensure access to jobs that major projects will create; increasing the participation of Aboriginal people in these high-demand occupations by working with First Nations and Aboriginal communities to address their unique training needs; encouraging ongoing collaboration with industry to address training gaps and modifying existing training to support the high-demand occupations; and keeping people informed about jobs in the region to encourage collaboration in achieving these goals.

But all of these ambitious initiatives will need robust participation from those of us living and participating in the Northwest economy. When the Regional Skills Training Plan is released in December it will be available on the Northwest Community College website (http://www.nwcc.bc.ca). Regional Workforce Table members will be attending upcoming regional events to talk about the plan to encourage people to get involved. We want you to read the plan and consider how you can participate to support its implementation.

This plan is about collaboration and partnerships and we will need broad support to move it forward. We hope you will meet the challenge and help the Northwest achieve its full potential in the new economy. The opportunities are vast and the potential is endless.

— Rose Klukas is the Economic Development Officer for the District of Kitimat, and co-chair of the Northwest Regional Workforce Table along with Heather Adel (Misty Isles Economic Development Society) and Murray Slezak (Shell Canada).

Just Posted

Teams set for All Native tournament

The 51-team field features 39 automatic qualifiers and 12 qualifying teams

Sports briefs

Here’s what’s going on in Prince Rupert sports this weekend

PART I: How Prince Rupert schools teach Indigenous language to hundreds of students

A multimedia series with videos and photos from children’s Sm’algyax classes on B.C.’s North Coast

Rent continues to rise in Prince Rupert, drops in Terrace

A report from Canadian Mortage and Housing Corporation shows the average rent has risen by $132

UPDATE: Tree planting won’t damage sidewalks on Third Avenue West

City of Prince Rupert dug up holes on downtown sidewalks to make space for trees

Heart of Our City: A fisherman with two loves

Norm Ostrom has owned one boat in his life — Arne A. — for almost 60 years

Carriers wanted for the Northern View

We have open routes for carriers all over Prince Rupert

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

Most Read