BC PROVINCE AND INDUSTRY PARTNER TO MEET LABOUR AND SAFETY NEEDS IN MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY

October 28, 2016 – The Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC is excited to be the lead organization for a Sector Labour Market Partnership project that brings together key partners to study the labour market needs associated with occupational health and safety (OHS) workers in B.C.’s manufacturing sector.

Manufacturing has been identified as a key sector within the BC Jobs Plan, with advanced manufacturing highlighted as a new sector where British Columbia will see immense growth opportunity at the BC Jobs Plan Five Year Preview this past August. A wide range of high-value products and components are produced in B.C. for international and domestic markets, and the sector creates desirable, high-paying jobs in communities throughout the province. As BC’s manufacturing industry is growing, the nature of manufacturing work is changing and workforce is becoming more diverse. Ensuring there is enough qualified health & safety professionals to support this growth will be important for industry.

The Sector Labour Market Partnerships Program is funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement. The program helps employers understand and respond to changing labour market demands, and ensures that training and education programs in BC are aligned with industry’s labour-market needs and priorities.

Each year, the government invests more than $7.5 billion in education and training. Over the next 10 years, the province plans to redirect $3 billion of its training investment to focus on skills and programs for in-demand jobs.

“We’re working with the manufacturing industry to achieve cultural change that ensures safe workplaces for all workers. To achieve this we will need more skilled health and safety professionals, especially with the expected future growth in our industry and the influx of less experienced workers as current workers retire. This opportunity with the Sector Labour Market Partnership Program will help us bring key stakeholders together to determine what the industry’s health and safety labour needs are over the next five years.” said Lisa McGuire, CEO, Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC.

The Manufacturing Safety Alliance of B.C. began engaging with partners in February 2016 in order to gain a better understanding of the specific OHS labour needs in B.C.’s manufacturing sector. Phase 1 consultations underscored the future need for systematic, standardized training of OHS professionals who not only possess a detailed understanding of the manufacturing context, but also have the technical and ‘soft’ skills required to take the lead in the development of effective injury prevention and health and safety promotion initiatives.

“The B.C. manufacturing sector’s diversity, focus on export markets and innovation are supporting job growth across every sector of the Provincial economy, and exporting billions of dollars in goods each year to countries around the world. We will continue to work with our industry partners to address their labour market needs, so we can further develop a safe, productive and growing sector in B.C.” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour.

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For media related inquiries please contact: Jennifer Proby 604-795-9595

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Sector Labour Market Partnership - Phase 1 Final Report

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