On July 25, the BC Government announced an opportunity for community-based literacy programs to receive funding for adult learning programs.

“The Surrey Board of Trade supports more investments into the skills and education of our workforce, which is an essential economic policy of the organization,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

According to international literacy assessments, more than 40% of Canada’s workforce do not have adequate levels of the literacy skills needed to learn efficiently and be highly productive in most jobs. Without this ability, many Canadians will not be able to keep their jobs – or find new ones – and a growing number of employers will not be able to find workers with the skills they need.

“Manufacturing, for example, is becoming much more skill intensive, for technical and cognitive skills. The pace of change that the industry is experiencing, combined with global competitive pressures, means that manufacturers will continue to expect foundational and advanced skills from their employees. Manufacturers need skilled workers who can master new, advanced technologies, work in highly collaborative team environments, use critical thinking and problem-solving skills, adapt to ever-changing environments, and embrace an attitude of never-ending learning.”

The BC Government currently publishes a 10-year outlook on the labour market, which is released every five years. Businesses rely on this report to see where the market is going, and what investments to make and expect. The labour market is shifting daily with automation and changes in global labour mobility and geopolitical issues. Due to unexpected and rapid changes in the labour market, businesses need the labour market publication to be released earlier.

The Surrey Board of Trade also recommends that the Provincial Government, in coordination with the Federal Government:

1. Work with the Forum of Labour Market Ministers to create a report on jobs at risk of automation with actionable recommendations to protect, upskill, and reskill those affected by automation for different industries through training programs;

2. Release the BC Labour Market publications every two years instead of every five years; and,

The province is investing $3.4 million per year in the Community Adult Literacy Programs. The funding is to be administered this Fall. It will be available to British Columbians, newcomers, work permit holders, and refugee claimants.

Read the news release here releases/2022AEST0045-001086

Read the Surrey Board of Trade policy LITERACY-LOST-%E2%80%93- CANADA%E2%80%99S-BASIC-SKILLS- SHORTFALL-Surrey-1.pdf


Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342,