B.C. tackles skills shortage

Government responds to "misinformation," says quality of training and safety won't be compromised
By Shirley Bond
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 05/23/2003

Shirley Bond is British Columbia's Minister of Advanced Education. This is an editorial she wrote.

Over the past year, a great deal of attention — both media and otherwise — has been devoted to Canada and British Columbia’s impending skills crisis. We are faced with a critical shortage of skilled workers brought on, in large part, by an aging employee population and it has become increasingly clear that if we are to continue to prosper as a province, we need to explore new ways of producing the skilled workers B.C. employers want and need.

With more than 16,000 apprentices in British Columbia and thousands more students enrolled in entry-level trades training at public post-secondary institutions, the creation of a new system is a complex and time-consuming task. As a government, we need to ensure a new model is both flexible and responsive, that it meets the needs of students and employers and, ultimately, it helps position our province and its people at the forefront of the new economy.