B.C. to face skills deficit by 2016: Report

18,800 jobs could be left unfilled in 2020

A skills shortage will hit British Columbia in 2016 and will continue to grow, according to a recent report.

In 2016, the number of jobs requiring university, college or trades credentials will exceed the supply of B.C. graduates — a skills deficit that will grow through to 2020, found the BC Labour Market Profile released by the Research Universities’ Council of BC and based on the provincial government’s BC Labour Market Outlook.

In 2020, approximately 18,800 jobs could go unfilled because too few British Columbians have the necessary training — 8,400 requiring a university degree, 8,100 a college credential and 2,300 trades training.

“This is a wake-up call for all of us," said University of British Columbia president Stephen Toope. “To secure our economy, we need to continue to build on our excellent post-secondary system and deepen our commitment to education, innovation and research.”

The Lower Mainland will see two-thirds of the one million jobs openings projected for B.C. from 2010 to 2020.

The report makes a variety of recommendations to close the skills gap including the launch of the Innovate BC initiative, bringing government, business and post-secondary institutions together to build on B.C.’s research and innovation potential, advance new opportunities, and help drive economic growth.

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