High school students and recent graduates will soon have access to short-term paid work placements with local producers through a new program designed to help build the workforce of the future.
“Manufacturing is a growing part of our economy with 49,000 new job openings coming into the sector over the next 10 years. Now is the time to introduce young people to the sector so they are ready to fill these jobs,” said Brenda Bailey, Minister for Employment , Economic Development and Innovation. “Current investment in new training opportunities will ensure young people can develop much-needed skills to find rewarding employment when they are ready to launch their careers. That’s how you build a strong and sustainable economy that benefits all British Columbians.”
As part of the Future Ready Action Plan, the Province is providing $3 million to the Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) to deliver its new Youth in Manufacturing Initiative. Starting fall 2023, the initiative will provide short-term paid work placements for up to 500 BC youth aged 16 to 21 years.
In addition to paid work experience and industry-recognized training, young people will be able to receive credit towards high school graduation and apprentice certification. This initiative will be open to all BC youth and will promote the inclusion of underrepresented groups, such as women and indigenous peoples.
“Manufacturing careers are challenging, fulfilling and require a constantly evolving skills and competency base,” said JP Giroux, President of EMC. “There are many career paths within the manufacturing sector besides traditional production related roles. The experiences shared by this project will help young people rise to develop the desired skills, attitudes and habits needed to succeed in the workforce.”
Eligible employers will receive up to $3,500 per placement to offset orientation fees and wages for this on-the-job training.
“Manufacturing and trading like me, a heavy-duty mechanic, is a great, well-paying career option,” says Sadie Craine, a high school student in Nanaimo. “I appreciate the opportunity I had to take a trade sample program so I could make an informed decision about my future. It’s exciting that people my age looking for a career in manufacturing will get the opportunity to gain paid work experience. I know from it’s my own experience that once you put your foot in the door, many doors open upwards.”
The Youth in Manufacturing Initiative is part of the StrongerBC Future Ready Action Plan to make skills training more affordable and accessible, and to respond to the biggest unheard of challenge for businesses – the need for people.
Budget 2023 invests $480 million over three years to support Future Ready’s work to break down barriers to post-secondary training so more people can get the training they need for the careers they need and employers can access the talent they need.
Selina Robinson, Minister of Graduate Education and Future Skills –
“Every action in our Future Ready Action Plan is designed to meet today’s challenges, to build a better future for stronger societies and economies. We create opportunities for people to explore new skills for in-demand jobs, such as in the BC manufacturing sector.”
Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan –
“Our BC Government is proud to create more opportunities for young people to access skills training in the manufacturing industry to help build a strong and diverse workforce. Working collaboratively with local businesses, industry leaders, and learning institutions is the key to long-term success for all communities across the province.”
Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo –
“More young people will get the chance to train for the good jobs that are needed. Graduates of the manufacturing program will receive the skills training they need to pursue fulfilling careers in their communities.”
Tod Gilbert, president, VMAC Global Technology Inc. –
“A significant challenge facing our industry is a shortage of skilled workers, which limits growth opportunities for BC companies. VMAC commends this program for not only supporting the growth of BC businesses like ours, but also providing opportunities for young people across the province to learn about meaningful and sustainable employment in the manufacturing sector.”
For more information on StrongerBC’s Economic Plan: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/plan/
Learn more about Excellence in Manufacturing Consortiums: https://emccanada.org/
A background follows.