Bond outlines ‘blueprint’ for skills training in Chilliwack

Shirley Bond, B.C. minister for Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training was at UFV this week, talking jobs, training and opportunities

Shirley Bond

Shirley Bond

B.C. is on the verge of “unprecedented” opportunities and jobs if it can just step up to meet the growing demand for a highly skilled work force.

That kind of technical and trades training is going to be in high demand and institutions like University of the Fraser Valley will play a critical role, said Shirley Bond, B.C. minister for Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training.

She was touring UFV and talking about the new Skills for Jobs Blueprint the province rolled out a couple of months ago.

The need for skilled workers “is not just an issue for B.C.” but holds true across the country. So there are plans to target $6 million in funding to reduce wait lists for trades training.

“For institutions like yours it will mean targeted funding, lined up with jobs we know will exist.”

By 2016-17, 25 per cent of funding will go to the “highest demand obligations.”

“We have to think differently and have to think innovatively.”

It means starting early to talk about trades and tech options.

“Parity of esteem” is the latest catchphrase when it comes to B.C. skills training.

One hindrance to attracting the numbers required for an adequately skilled and trained work force is the perception that university degree programs have more value than tech and trades training.

“There’s never been a more critical time for British Columbia in terms of unprecedented opportunity,” said Bond, “I wake up driven because the opportunities are so significant,” she said.

There’s “gigantic pressure” to increase the trades and training opportunities. She had praise for UFV’s partnerships with industry and the local school district.

“Institutions like yours are critical to solving that problem.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The annual Make a Difference Sale in Abbotsford is moving online for 2021. (File photo)
Make a Difference Sale in Abbotsford goes virtual for 2021

Annual auction raises money for world hunger through Canadian Foodgrains Bank

The Bug Girl, written by seven-year-old Sophia Spencer, is being given to 500 B.C. classrooms as part of Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month. (Submitted photos)
Reading challenges part of Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month

Abbotsford-based BC Agriculture in the Classroom participates in 10th annual event

Hospital outbreaks included in Fraser Health update Feb. 28, 2021. (Black Press file)
Fraser Health declared COVID-19 outbreaks at Chilliwack General and Surrey Memorial

The medicine units are temporarily closed but ERs remain open, according to Fraser Health update

COVID-19 cases increasing again in Fraser Health

Fraser North is seeing the greatest growth, Fraser East also heading up

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ready for use at the vaccination center in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb.28, 2021. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

The first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Inez Louis, who is strategic operations planner with the health department in the Sto:lo Service Agency, talks about infection control in the latest YouTube video about COVID-19 created in partnership with the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice and the Chilliwack Economic Recovery Network. (YouTube)
VIDEO: Nurse Inez Louis explains how infection control is not social control

The difference is important for Indigenous people to hear in the context of Canada’s colonial past

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

Most Read