On May 2, the BC Government announced a significant workforce development initiative to help businesses called the ‘Future Ready Action Plan’.

“We look forward to evaluating the implementation of these new programs to tie industry needs to curriculum development to proactively address the labour and skills challenges of our economy,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

Highlights of the Future Ready Action Plan:

People seeking post-secondary skills:

Opening 3,000 more tech-relevant post-secondary spaces to meet the demand for technology workers in BC’s changing economy.
Boosting teacher recruitment and retention in rural areas.
Expanding graduate scholarships for students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and other disciplines.
Doubling veterinary medicine seats from 20 to 40 on a permanent basis.
Increasing student financial aid with the doubling of student loan maximums.
Expanding K-12 career-life connections and dual credit.
Expanding work-integrated learning opportunities at BC’s public post-secondary institutions, helping more students access co-op education, internships, clinical placements, service learning and practicums.
Building more student housing on campus with a new commitment of building an additional 4,000 student beds, adding to 8,000 student beds, for a total commitment of building 12,000 on-campus student-housing beds.
Delivering the Care Economy Workforce Strategy with an integrated approach to address current and future skills shortages and workforce challenges in the care economy.
People looking to reskill for in-demand jobs:

Introducing the new future skills grant to provide British Columbians with up to $3,500 to cover the costs of tuition for short-term skills training for in-demand jobs delivered by public post-secondary institutions.
Introducing the Rapid Response Training Initiative to increase short-term training.
Establishing TradeUpBC, a continuing education hub for in-demand jobs to grow innovative delivery of post-secondary education with shorter, industry-driven training.
Increasing skills for certified journeypersons to continue learning throughout their careers.
Increasing training for forest-sector workers and communities.
Boosting training for people looking to enter the mass-timber industry, with the development and delivery of comprehensive mass-timber programs.
Creating career exploration opportunities through short-term work placements in manufacturing for up to 500 youth (ages 16-21) through a new Youth in Manufacturing Initiative.
Supporting thousands of people to sharpen their online skills with an extension of the popular Digital Skills Bootcamp program.
Expanding the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator Program to better support unemployed young people (ages 17-30) and people from under-represented communities looking to start a career in the tech industry.
Introducing a new workplace innovation fund to support businesses implementing innovative new strategies to tackle the current labour-market challenge and better prepare for a changing economy.
People facing barriers:

Eliminating the age requirement for the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program for former youth in care so all former youth in care, at any age, can access tuition-free education and skills training.
Expanding skills training for people facing multiple barriers. Supports include employment assistance, counselling, mentoring, job placements, disability support, Indigenous cultural supports, childcare, housing, transportation and other tailored supports.
Adding more Early Childhood Education spaces to help parents and employers by creating 1,390 new early childhood educator spaces over the next three years.
Creating additional employment opportunities for youth (ages 15-19) with developmental disabilities.
Indigenous Peoples in BC:

Bringing forward several initiatives that will shift post-secondary education and training programs from government-led to Indigenous-led, and expand post-secondary training and labour market opportunities, with an investment of nearly $100 million.
Training, recruiting and retaining more Indigenous teachers.
Reviewing racism in post-secondary education as called for by the First Nations Leadership Council. The Province will engage Indigenous partners to conduct an external review of Indigenous-specific racism and discrimination in the provincial public post-secondary education system and create a strategy to address the findings.
Supporting Native Education College in continuing to deliver adult higher education to urban Indigenous learners, allowing culturally safe access to post- secondary programs and supports.
Providing ongoing core and capacity funding to First-Nations-mandated institutions throughout BC.
Funding to develop and deliver First Nations language fluency degrees under a framework developed by First Nations working with public post-secondary institutions.
Providing funding to First Nations, Métis Nation BC and Indigenous partners for skills training and post-secondary education to meet their labour market needs and economic development priorities.
The Guardian and Stewardship Training Initiative, which will be co-developed with First Nations. This initiative will provide First Nations with access to funding for training and education, so “guardians” are able to expand capacity, programming and services to meet their self-determined stewardship priorities, and to partner with BC in co-management of lands and resources where agreed.
Take action on the First Nations Children and Youth in Care Protocol, which seeks to improve the educational outcomes and well-being of First Nations children and youth in care, through the expansion of the Tuition Waiver Program.
Funding to support Métis Nation British Columbia’s exploration of a post-secondary institution model that meets the needs of Métis learners and Chartered Communities.
Métis language revitalization.
People new to BC:

Streamlining foreign credential recognition to improve processes and remove unnecessary barriers, helping employers find internationally trained workers faster.
Introducing Find Your Path, a new online one-stop shop for job seekers that will help people discover in-demand jobs, and the education and training they need to land those jobs. Continuing to expand supports for learners in Indigenous and remote communities through Contact North BC.
Enhancing the BC Provincial Nominee Program to attract skilled international workers throughout the province, supporting thousands of employers each year in addressing labour shortages and prioritizing in-demand skills like health-care workers, early childhood educators and animal health professionals.
More information:


Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342,