OPINION: B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint celebrates one year anniversary


Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour


A year ago, our government launched the B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint to re-engineer education and training systems – from kindergarten through to post-secondary training and beyond.  Only one year in, and already B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint is making a difference in the lives of B.C. students, workers and employers.


On our one year anniversary we gathered to celebrate the impressive achievements of the Blueprint to date. It was more than celebrating government policy – it was about celebrating our work to change people’s lives, and a few of those people were there to share their stories.


Josh, a high-school student, shared his excitement to be in the inaugural ACE-IT Piping Foundation program made possible through a Blueprint partnership involving the Squamish First Nation, the Industry Training Authority, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, North Vancouver school district 44 and the private sector. Leigh Wall is a Vancouver Community College heavy-duty commercial transport mechanic program graduate, who shifted career paths once she saw the opportunities in the trades.  Maddie Batters told us how she plans to look for an apprenticeship in the electrical field after she discovered new career options through the TASK program at Lambrick Park Secondary School. Giving youth and young adults hands-on experience allows them to find a career fit in the trades.


Government is also building stronger partnerships with industry and labour to deliver training and apprenticeships – just one example being the new online Apprentice Job Match tool, which connects apprentices with companies. We’ve also refocused the Industry Training Authority, which now has 15 Apprenticeship Advisors throughout the province helping people complete their training and connect with employers. New on-line tools available on WorkBC.ca like Apprentice Job Match and My Blueprint Builder are making it easier for all British Columbians to connect with skills training and apprenticeship opportunities in their communities.


We delivered on our promise to provide a head-start to hands-on learning with nearly 50,000 British Columbians in 31 communities participating in Find Your Fit, a youth-focused interactive event showcasing in-demand careers. Our investment of $727,500 this year in 326 Trades Discovery seats will help open the door for many students to a world of possibilities in a range of trades.


Aboriginal people are essential to B.C.’s workforce yet First Nations communities can experience extra barriers when trying to access skills training and employment. That’s why we’re investing up to $30 million in new funding over the next three years to support First Nations partnering in the province’s LNG opportunity.   This innovative approach will build opportunities together with First Nations to determine what projects can best meet their needs while meeting our future labour demands.


Through the Single Parent Employment Initiative and WorkBC Centres across the province, we are removing barriers to employment and helping people reach economic independence.

With one million job openings projected by 2022, driven by retirements and economic growth, the province will need to tap into the full potential of its workforce, and I’m proud to say, the Blueprint is working.


The full One Year Update detailing the wide range of actions government has taken to maximize the potential of B.C.’s workforce is available here: https://www.workbc.ca/blueprintaction