Surrey Business News

More In­clu­sive Work­force to Ad­vance Tech Sec­tor in BC

- Business · Tech · Career · Entrepreneurship · British Columbia · Steve Jobs · Surrey · Croatia · Bruce Ralston

Peo­ple un­der-rep­re­sented in BC’S grow­ing tech­nol­ogy and engi­neer­ing sec­tors, in­clud­ing women, In­dige­nous peo­ples, im­mi­grants and peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, will have bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties and ad­vance­ment through new gov­ern­ment-sup­ported ini­tia­tives.

Pro­vin­cial fund­ing of up to $2.2 mil­lion over two years will break down bar­ri­ers through pi­lot projects, such as men­tor­ship for em­ploy­ees, and re­sources and train­ing for em­ploy­ers. Bruce Ralston, Min­is­ter of Jobs, Trade and Tech­nol­ogy, made the an­nounce­ment on be­half of Me­lanie Mark, Min­is­ter of Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion, Skills and Train­ing, at Pow­ertech Labs in Sur­rey.

“An in­clu­sive and re­spect­ful work­place will cul­ti­vate am­bi­tions in peo­ple and al­low em­ploy­ees to ad­vance their ca­reer,” said Mark.

“The rapidly grow­ing tech sec­tor has thou­sands of job open­ings that it needs to fill, but it needs to be more in­clu­sive of peo­ple who are all too of­ten ig­nored. We’re work­ing hard to give peo­ple the skills to suc­ceed in the tech sec­tor so to­gether, we can build the best BC.”

BC’S tech sec­tor con­tin­ues to grow rapidly but has a pro­jected tal­ent short­fall and low lev­els of di­ver­sity and rep­re­sen­ta­tion from key groups, in­clud­ing women, peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and In­dige­nous peo­ples, a 2017 re­port, Di­ver­sity & In­clu­sion in the BC Tech Sec­tor, found.

“Bri­tish Columbia’s tech in­dus­try is thriv­ing, but for com­pa­nies to con­tinue to in­no­vate and grow, they need ac­cess to a di­verse pool of skilled work­ers,” said Ralston. “STEM plays an im­por­tant role in grow­ing BC’S econ­omy. With th­ese pi­lot projects in place, we will be able to build a more di­verse work­force that will help strengthen and en­rich the sec­tor with a range of ex­pe­ri­ences, knowl­edge and per­spec­tives.”

The pi­lot projects will be man­aged by the Ap­plied Science Tech­nol­o­gists and Tech­ni­cians of BC (ASTTBC) and HR Tech Group. The projects will look at how best to at­tract, re­tain and sup­port ca­reer ad­vance­ment of eq­uity-seek­ing groups in BC’S tech­nol­ogy work­force.

Sup­port for the projects is through the Sec­tor Labour Mar­ket Part­ner­ship (SLMP) pro­gram. SLMP projects are funded through the Canad­abc Labour Mar­ket Devel­op­ment Agree­ment and help in­dus­try and em­ploy­ers un­der­stand and re­spond to chang­ing labour mar­ket de­mands.

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