Sufficient Skilled Labour
Gateway growth is taking place at a time of record activity in BC. There is over $100 billion of capital projects underway or planned. Increasing import and export trade, tourism and business travel are also increasing demand for skilled workers. This situation is also occurring in other parts of the country. Canada is facing a national shortage of skilled labour.
The situation in our Gateway region is compounded by the high cost of housing and an aging workforce. Availability of affordable housing within reasonable commuting distance of peoples’ workplaces and the need to replace a large segment of the Gateway workforce due to retire over the next decade are major challenges for the Gateway’s future operations. Furthermore, new technologies and increasing complexity of international logistics (for example: security requirements) require higher levels of training than ever before.
A comprehensive review and forecast of skills requirements for specific occupations is a necessary first step. However, two main challenges will remain; labour supply and training.
Ways and means must be found to provide an adequate intake of new trainees together with sufficient budget and trainers, in addition to skills upgrading for existing employees.