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Skills trade workers and employers receive funding to boost programs

Doubling incentives for employers who hire women, persons with disabilities, and other traditionally marginalized groups
Province provides funds to expand job training and opportunities for workers and vulnerable affected by pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)

“BC’s construction industry is in a vice grip right now, and it’s tightening,” says Chris Atchison, B.C. Construction Association (BCCA) President.

“Employers are dealing with rising costs, material shortages, increased taxes, mandatory sick pay, labour shortages, and late payments. It can be costly to hire and train new apprentices, and especially in this climate, $40,000 can go a good distance to alleviating some of that cost burden.”

Employers can spend the financial incentives at their discretion.

READ MORE:Housing minister, municipal governments at odds over B.C. housing supply report

For example: hiring bonuses, gear and work apparel, childcare costs, offsetting business taxes, offsetting costs of mandatory sick leave, training and mentoring, raises for field or office staff, safety equipment, or new technology.

As part of the service to employers, BCCA will provide culture training through its Builders Code program, and mentorship support through its new Building Builders initiative.

BC’s construction industry is approximately 95 per cent male and continues to face a skilled workforce shortage during a time of high demand for construction services. Most employers are small, with 90 per cent employing 20 workers or less.

“We need more skilled trades workers in British Columbia, and across Canada,” said Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion. “That’s why we’re working with employers to create tens of thousands of new apprenticeships. It’s why we’re doubling incentives for employers who hire women, persons with disabilities, and other traditionally marginalized groups – to make sure that everyone who wants to pursue a skilled trade, has the chance to.”

“The skilled trades offer many exciting and rewarding career opportunities, and they are in high demand,” said Kamal Khera, Minister of Seniors. “The Apprenticeship Service will help Canadians get valuable work experience in the skilled trades, particularly equity-deserving groups such as women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people and racialized people.This will also support small and medium-sized enterprises who are providing these key job opportunities to first-year apprentices.”

“We know that construction employers are already doing their best to find and hire workers” says Atchison. “So, in addition to the financial incentives, we’re going to mount a compelling acquisition campaign to bring new talent to employers who list their jobs with us. We’ll be working with a digital recruitment agency, as well as a marketing and communications agency. We’re pulling out all the stops.”

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